Two weeks ago, I wrote about how Senator Ted Cruz announced his Presidential campaign to much fanfare, and two social media disasters. Not to be outdone, Senator Rand Paul kicked off his Presidential campaign yesterday, only to walk into five digital fails!
First, and probably most seriously, was his Twitter avatar trainwreck, which actually was two fails in one. Senator Paul’s campaign website has a series of pictures to which users can change their social media avatars. When the page was released today, two things were immediately noticeable. Here’s the first version that appeared:
Jew for Rand? Really?
Is that too offensive? Well, it’s not the worst description, no. I’m Jewish and refer to myself as Jew all the time. That being said, “Jew” can easily be meant with a derogatory context, and when juxtaposed next to the way that others are described (“Italian American” or “Native-American), it looks insensitive to me. It’s now “Jewish for Rand” which somehow looks dumber to me, if only because it’s grammatically incorrect:
“Jewish-American for Rand” would have been the way to go, in my opinion.
Next, as noted by the Washington Post, numerous demographics were left out. These include:
- Countless demographics groups (German-American, Polish American, Norwegian-American, to name a few).
- Numerous religious groups (Protestants, Muslims and Atheists come to mind).
- Countless occupations.
Those folks don’t get a specialized avatar, but they can download a generic “Stand With Rand” avatar.
Third was this retweet:
The man in the photoshopped picture is James Holmes, who killed 12 people at a movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado. Paul’s campaign left the tweet up for 20 minutes before deleting it.
In all fairness, there’s not much you can do when you retweet things under a hashtag. You can’t know the face of every lunatic in American or world history. This is also not the first time this has happened to a politician: Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) was once tricked the same way.
Four is the most hilarious: Senator Paul’s website misspelled education:
And, finally, was this YouTube blooper:
According to the Washington Post, a copyright robot acaccidentallylagged Paul’s speech, which was then taken down. It has since been restored:
So, on the whole…not a good day for Senator Paul. Hopefully the next Republican to kick off their campaign can do better!