A look back: Following up with some of the best social media disasters

It seems like this blog has been around long enough for a clip show, so I wanted to go back and take a look at the aftermath of five of my favorite fails:

Councilman Henry Davis, Jr., posts picture of bestiality:

  • The original entry: Henry Davis, Jr., a Councilman in South Bend, IN, used Facebook to post a picture of a man having sex with a dog, along with a link to a blog entry that criticized the repeal of the army’s former “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.  Davis was investigated by the District Attorney for the post, and multiple citizens filed an ethics complaint against Davis.
  • The follow-up: Despite an original recommendation from Council’s Rules committee that Davis be censured over the post, as well as removed from his committee chair position, Council ultimately agreed not to punish Davis.

State Senator Robert Rucho (R-NC) says Obamacare is worse than Nazis, Soviets & Terrorists…combined:

  • The original entry: In a tweet, State Senator Robert Rucho (R-NC) said, “Justice Robert’s pen & Obamacare has done more damage to the USA then the swords of the Nazis,Soviets & terrorists combined.”
  • The follow-up: After a competitive primary, Rucho beat Matt Arnold, 55-45%.  With no Democrat running against him, Rucho is assured reelection.

South Dakota Senate candidate compares food stamp recipients to wild animals:

  • The original entry: Dr. Annette Bosworth was a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in South Dakota.  In a Facebook post, she compared food stamp recipients to wild animals by saying that the U.S. government asked that these animals not be fed because they may get dependent on the food.
  • The follow-up: First, Bosworth lost her election, and was notified of her loss in a live interview on Fox News.  Then, she was arrested (a mere twelve hours after her loss) on twelve felony charges, including that she lied on her petitions to get on the U.S. Senate ballot.

Two public defenders in hot water for racist comments against Palestinians:

  • The original entry: Just last week, I wrote about two public defenders in Broward County, Florida, who made racist comments about Palestinians.  These comments included calling Palestinians “filthy swine,” made reference to their “ignorance to the world” and said that they were considered the “cockroaches of the world.”
  • The follow-up: Shortly after this story broke, both men were fired.

Man creates parody account of Mayor of Peoria, IL; has house raided by police:

  • The original entry: In April 2014, Jacob Elliot had his home raided after a search warrant was executed against him; Elliot was suspected of running a parody Twitter account of Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis.  Though the account was actually being run by Elliot’s roommate, Jon Daniel, police did find marijuana and arrested Elliot under felony possession, and Elliot was promptly suspended from his job.
  • The follow-up: Two months later, Daniel sued the city for violating his first and fourth amendment rights.  Mayor Ardis, in turn, threatened a follow-up lawsuit, saying that the twitter account was an attack on his good name.  Emails since released showed that police originally doubted whether a crime was being committed.

And, just in case you missed it, don’t forget to sign up for the weekly newsletter, where I discuss all of these fails, as well as giving advice, tips and feedback!


  1. Hey there! You should take another look at Mr. Davis! In the last year he’s been arrested for drunk driving in the wrong direction on an expressway, got into hot water over a tweet about aborting republicans, and rather than step down in shame, or be removed from his council seat, he’s decided to render himself ineligible by running for mayor. Against our incumbent, Pete Buttigieg, who might be the best mayor we’ve had in decades. (search his name and read the washington post article about him – he’s a fascinating guy). Can’t wait for the primary debate… the rhodes scholar and the clown. 🙂


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