Twitter and The Hack

Twitter and The Hack

It seems every day a celebrity or brand’s Twitter account is “hacked”. For those of you who haven’t yet figured out what that means, “hacked” is code for: “We tweeted something reckless, either on purpose or accident, and now need to rectify the situation by removing blame from ourselves.”

This happens to celebrities and brands. Here are a few recent examples:

Chrysler –

Scott Bartosiewicz’s (a University of Michigan MBA student) Twitter posting from last week read:

“I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to fucking drive.”

It was meant to appear on his personal account, but Bartosiewicz mistakenly sent it to the Chrysler brand’s feed while he was stuck in traffic on Interstate 696.

Marc Jacobs –

The intern went on to tweet that Duffy is a “tyrant” and that@MarcJacobsIntl followers “have no idea how difficult Robert is. I am only an intern”, he wrote. “My last day is tomorrow. I wouldn’t be tweeting this if not!”

“Good luck! I pray for you all. If you get the job! I’m out of here. See ya! Don’t want to be ya! Roberts a tyrant! Seriously! He is tough!” the intern continued.

“I can call him out! I’m out! Won’t work in this town again! I know that! Learned a lot. But, I don’t have the energy for what is expected!” said another tweet.

Before signing off, he wrote, “Yea, walk in my MJ shoes! Don’t judge me! I’m alone in this office having to try and entertain you all. This isn’t easy. I have tried. Done!”

Willow Smith –

“So Chris Brown is going to prison now breaking a window at ABC, but he didnt go for hurting Rihanna? #karma”

read the post on Smith’s Twitter page. The tweet was later removed and replaced with an explanation, posted by the singer’s record label, Roc Nation.

“This is a negativity free zone, unfortunately this account has been hacked thanks for your support. Sincerely @rocnation.”

So, you get the picture. If you are a brand or a celebrity, and say something reckless, you are given a “get out of jail free card”, delete set tweets and cry “Hacker!” and move on.

So I’ve got a huge problem with this! First of all, celebrities are people, just like you and me. They get upset, they get emotional, and they want their opinions heard. Why can’t we just be okay with that? I mean, the general population tweets all day about their opinions on Chris Brown, is Willow not entitled her own opinion? As a young teen with a “girl power” mindset, I am glad she has an opinion about Chris Brown, and the wherewithal to view his previous actions as unacceptable!

With regard to Brand “hacked” accounts, this is a much deeper issue. What we have here, are interns, or entry level employees, who are being paid $0.00 – $5.99/hour to tweet on behalf of multi billion dollar brands. This is the equivalent of asking your disgruntled secretary to deliver a live broadcast of a press release, and then being completely shocked when she bursts into a soapbox tirade about her poor pay and long hours!

Note to brands, in the words of my eloquent bestie Mia, “…maybe if u choose a person to be the “voice” of your company you should pay them a little more so the voice doesnt sound homeless, starved and suicidal”.

My sentiments exactly.

So yes, maybe Scott shouldn’t have been tweeting and driving, because he probably would have been able to confirm what account he was posting to. But at the same time, stuff happens. 10 years ago it was the dreaded “Reply All” button on email. Now it’s making sure you’re posting to the correct account when tweeting. It’s something we learn as we grow more comfortable, but mistakes happen. Should Scott have been fired? I’m not the judge of that. Will he ever work in Social Media again? I sure hope so.

So I’m calling BS on the “Twitter Hack” and hoping we can learn to be a little more understanding about a platform that is just a glorified soapbox where most people forget what they read on there 10 minutes later.


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