There is a new entry into the “Oh no, nono, please don’t tell me I tweeted that” club, and it’s Governor Jack Markell (D) of Delaware. Yesterday, while at an event, the Governor sent out this tweet:
As you can see, the picture shown wasn’t of the Governor at a school or press conference, but of a woman in bondage gear.
The pic was quickly pulled down and an apology tweet was issued.
In a statement, the Governor’s office said the following:
During this morning’s event, a tweet was composed with a link to what was supposed to be a picture that had just been uploaded to the internet of the Governor’s education announcement. While the tweet was being edited, the auto-generated link for the picture was inadvertently altered. As a result, the picture linked to the tweet was a random, unrelated, and inappropriate picture that has been on the internet since 2010, and not the just-uploaded picture of the event. The tweet was deleted and we apologize for the error.”
“The lessons here are not to compose tweets too quickly and there is a lot of odd stuff on the internet. We just wish the accidental link had been a cat video.
Some, like Buzzfeed Politics, didn’t think the explanation made sense:
I disagree completely with Buzzfeed – this isn’t the first time such an accident has happened, and it most certainly will not be the last. For example, there was the case of Sarah Pompei, a spokesperson for Meg Whitman, who was running for Governor of California at the time. Pompei tried to send out a link to an endorsement Whitman had received from San Diego sheriffs – instead, the link to viewers to a cross-dressing Korean bass player. Then there is Rob Wilson, a British Member of Parliament, who tried to tweet out a link to an article only to send users to a porn site.
In each case, the explanation was the same: a short-link had been copied badly and directed users to the inappropriate site.
The lesson is more than just that there is “a lot of odd stuff on the internet.” Be careful with what you tweet – yes, take your time – but, more importantly, double check everything, including where links go, and especially if you have shortened a link.