Scott Walker prematurely tweets presidential announcement…but was it his fault?

On Friday night, word broke of a social media mistake, committed by Governor Scott Walker’s team: They accidentally tweeted that the Governor was formally in the 2016 Presidential race:

The issue: Governor Walker’s official announcement wasn’t scheduled until July 13.  So, it looked like this was a tweet sent in error.  Whoops.

It’s not like this is the first time someone has prematurely sent out campaign plans on Twitter: In 2009, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff tweeted his campaign plans to run for the U.S. Senate, but only after he confused Twitter and text messaging (I’m still not quite sure how that one happened).

Now, here’s where things get interesting: This might not have been Walker’s team’s fault.  At first glance, it certainly appears that way, but in a statement, Twitter said:

“We’re looking into today’s issue, and we’ve determined the Walker team was not at fault.”

This is a new one: it’s the first time I can recall Twitter admitting that a technical problem caused a social media error, as opposed to just a mistake committed by a user.  So, what happened?  My guess – and this is just a guess – is the Walker team was planning an ad buy to be timed with the formal announcement, and somehow, the ad buy went live early.  That would make it a Twitter error, not an error committed by the Walker team.

It’s not like this is a huge deal: Everyone knows that Walker will be announcing his campaign on Monday.  Still, it’s not the press that the Walker team was looking for, and it’s unfortunate that Twitter made this mistake.

Tweets and Consequences

Like the blog?  Get the book!  Tweets and Consequences: 60 Social Media Disasters in Politics and How You Can Avoid A Career-Ending Mistake is now available on Amazon for purchase or download.

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