Six Lessons Learned From Celebrity Twitter Scandals

Twitter has been on the minds, lips, and fingers of everyone lately. And this week we’ve witnessed a couple of Twitter firsts. Courtney Love has the wonderful distinction of being the first person sued for defamation as a result of a tweet. And over the weekend, Mark Cuban was fined $25,000 by the NBA for his criticisms of referees officiating a game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Denver Nuggets. These two scandals most likely caused bad days for Mark and Courtney, but you really can learn something from their and others mishaps.

  • Don’t tweet while intoxicated. The report stating the claim against Courtney says her “crusade” could have been caused by a “drug-induced psychosis.”
  • If you’re going to criticize or just talk sh– about someone, then don’t use their real name. Mark wrote “JR Smith” in his tweet, so it was obvious he was referring to his taunting and calling the refs out for ignoring it.
  • Blocking someone doesn’t mean they can’t read your tweets. All they have to do is type in your full Twitter URL. But if you block someone it’s kind of like sticking your fingers in your ears and saying, “La la la, I can’t hear you!” You just won’t be able to read their replies. Jake Tapper, ABC News’ senior White House correspondent, blocked the Talking Points Memo after he became tired of its critique.
  • You can pretend to be anyone. Including Maya Angelou.
  • But you could get sued. Just like all the folks that set up Twitter accounts with usernames of characters from “Mad Men”!
  • Don’t tweet about anything involving your job. PR blogger Steve Rubel wrote that he didn’t read the hard copy of PC Magazine, which accepts pitches from his employer Edelman PR firm.