Twitter campaign donations

Twitter & Square partner to allow for political donations via Twitter

You can now donate to a political candidate via Twitter.

As noted by Bloomberg, Twitter and Square have partnered to allow you to allow candidate to solicit and collect donations via Twitter.  The partnership allows users to click on a tweet, fill out the necessary information and make a donation with a debit or credit card.

The system, which the New York Times bills as “seamless,” works like this:

To make it work, campaigns will create a Square Cash account, which gives the campaign a unique web handle, known as a “cashtag.” Then, when anyone shares the cashtag on Twitter, a donate button will appear that, when selected, will open a window for a user to input their information and donate using a debit card. And after they’ve done it once, the app saves their information, allowing for one-click donating the next time.

Previously, candidates, of course, could tweet out links for how people could donate.  However, that would take users to a separate URL, and as anyone who has every made a mobile purchase on their phone knows, those systems could be clunky and awkward. This system, since it’s integrated with Twitter, is much more advanced.  It is quicker, easier for donors to operate, and easier to tweet about.  It’s also smart for Square, since it gives candidates yet another reason to use their system as opposed to another, like PayPal or Google Wallet.  Additionally, this will make it easy for supporters to tweet and share donation information about their selected candidates.

Chalk this one up to the latest integration between the campaign, fundraising and social media world.  This could also be important to more than just Presidential candidates – since it is available to political candidates of all levels, it can be important to hooking in your already existing social networks into your fundraising apparatus.  Frankly, I’ll be using it when I run for reelection – and I may open a Square account instead of a PayPal one.

Tweets and Consequences

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Virginia State Senator under fire for sexist tweet

State Senator Richard Black (R) is running for his first reelection against Dr. Jill McCabe.  He’s now under fire for the sexist implications of the following tweet:

Senator Richard Black Tweet

The sexist implications of such a tweet are obvious: It’s hard to see how being a pediatric surgeon is somehow less valuable than Senator Blake’s contributions to society, which have involved herpetology (the study of amphibians). You can’t help but wonder if the same tweet would have been sent had Dr. McCabe been Joe, not Jill.  At the same time, Dr. McCabe is a wife and mother – does that count for nothing in Senator Black’s estimate?

Incidentally, the tweet has been deleted from Senator Black’s account, and no mention was made of the deletion (on Twitter), or why.  However, in a statement, a Black spokesperson said the tweet was deleted only because Senator Black appeared in a tweet in a military uniform, without the standard disclaimer that the Department of Defensive didn’t endorse his candidacy.  Okay, sure.  They also said that the comparison was made because Dr. McCabe was calling Senator Black a politician – so the Black campaign wanted to make sure that they pushed back by talking about all of the other things that Senator Black was.

Naturally, Virginia Democrats and McCabe supporters blasted the tweet:

There’s no two ways of saying it: This was dumb.  Dumb, dumb, dumb.  If Senator Black truly wanted to push back against the notion that he wasn’t just a politician, he could have easily discussed all the other things he was – without belittling a woman who is a wife and a mother.  The tweet clearly discounts the effort and importance of both of those roles, and that’s just dumb.

Whenever sending out any tweet, always think twice about any of the possible implications.

donald trump

Donald Trump holds #AskTrump. STOP. DOING. THAT.

Frequent readers of the blog know that the dumbest thing which a controversial elected official can do is hold a social media Q&A, using a hashtag.  Even if you are able to generate positive traction, the negative news stories will drown out the positive ones.  So, guess who decided to hold #AskTrump last week?

And, how did it go?  Here are some samples:

And how did the media cover it?  Not well.

So, let’s review the follow equation…call it Schlossberg’s Principle of Hashtags:

Controversial figure + Open request for input on social media = Media fail


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.

Grant Nichols Facebook

Another school board member in trouble over anti-Muslim comments

Yesterday, I wrote about a school board member in Virginia who had shared an anti-Muslim meme.  Well, today, I have to write about ANOTHER school board member – this one in Minnesota, who took to Facebook to disparage, of all things, Muslim bathroom habits…….?

See the comment below from Grant Nichols, a school board member in Columbia Heights, Minnesota:

Grant Nichols Facebook

What?  Just…what?  That’s a stereotype I’ve never heard.

When the comment went public, Nichols denied that he wrote it, saying that he suspected someone at his office had access to his phone and used it to make the comment. However, another school board member has said that Nicholas told him that he had, in fact, written the post.

Unsurprisingly, students in Columbia Heights were ticked, and walked out of classes for 45 minutes to protest the statements.  There are, of course, calls for Nichols to resign, including from the Council on American Islamic Relations and Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton.  After the comments were made, the Governor visited the school.  Meanwhile, a vote to remove or censure Nichols fell short by one vote.

Two things.  First is the obvious: the comment was deeply offensive and should never have been said.  Second, for the sake of argument, let’s take Nichols at his word, and say that the comment wasn’t made by him.  I think the argument is ridiculous…what, someone grabbed his phone for the sole purpose of making an anti-Islamic Facebook comment?  But, okay, let’s say that this is, in fact, what happened.  If that’s the case, this is a great reason about why everyone needs to have a password on their phones.  I’ll also add that many Government bodies require a phone be password protected in order to use that device to access government Email, and this example shows exactly why such policies are necessary.

Christie New Craig

School board chair: Why do Muslims come to America?

Christie New Craig is the chairwoman of the Chesapake School Board in Virginia.  She has made it into this blog because of this moronic Facebook share:

Christie New Craig Facebook

Nothing says “We welcome all religions” like a Facebook share like this, huh?  Oh, and by the way, since when do Muslims hate dogs or freedom of speech?  Since when do Muslims hate any of the things listed above?  What in God’s name was this woman thinking?

Obviously, a backlash ensued.  New Craig told a local paper:

“I merely shared it. I did not make a comment, and I’m just shocked with everything going on in our country – police officers are losing their lives, people are homeless and people don’t have jobs – that a political cartoon would cause this much stir.”

As this blog has documented countless times, “merely sharing” a Facebook post isn’t a thing.  If you share a post – unless you explicitly state that you are sharing it for other reasons – people are going to assume, correctly, that the post you share is a specific endorsement of your views.  That is exactly what happened here.

This incident occurred at the same time that Ahmed Mohamed, a teen who built a clock that was mistaken for a bomb, resulting in the student’s arrest and some pretty obvious allegations of Islamophobia. So really, the timing couldn’t have been worse.

The Chesapake School Board released a statement which tried to put as much distance between Craig’s statement as possible: “This post has had no effect on our commitment to maintaining equal opportunity and nondiscrimination standards.”

Remember, what you share will be assumed to be yours.  I suspect Craig knew that already.

Mayor of Louisville sends out tweet from hilarious location

I’ve always argued that one of the best uses of social media is its ability to humanize elected officials.  It gives us a chance to show the world that we are truly no different than anyone else.

And, doesn’t everyone use their phones on the toilet? Well, we know that the Mayor of Louisville does, after he sent out this tweet:

The floor and bathroom stall walls are dead giveaways.

Is this a fail?  Honestly, I don’t think so.  I mean, yeah, it’s not a picture I would have sent out…most people don’t really need to know that you are on the john at a given moment.  That being said, I cannot imagine how busy the Mayor’s schedule is, and he wanted to share a news story which was important to him and the people of his city.  I would also imagine that this would put to rest any notions that it’s not the Mayor who personally manages his Twitter account!

Naturally, the tweet did make news, including national news on Business Insider.  Mayor Fischer did not return calls for comment on the story, and I think that is actually an error.  I would have said, “Yeah, I was on the toilet, using my phone like any other human being.  I have a busy schedule and this was an important story to share.”

Incidentally, some of the responses to this tweet were hilarious:

Hey, as the book title says, Everybody Poops.  Lots of people tweet while pooping too.

N.C. State Representative, via shared meme: President is “Islamic son of a b***h”

In the latest example of why you have to be very, very careful with what kind of content you share, North Carolina State Representative Michael Speciale is making national news for sharing this meme:

Michael Speciale Obama Meme

Yes, that’s right, an elected official actually shared a meme which called the President of the United States an “Islamic son of a b****h.”


WCNT, a North Carolina news station, tried to get a comment from Representative Special, but, “he wouldn’t make a comment about his social media post.”  So, the Representative is willing to make the incredibly offensive post, but not back it up.  Okay, that’s really super.

Hilariously enough, he is sharing news stories about the post:

So this guy is just all class.

Of course, Representative Speciale is appealing to the many Republicans who believe that President Obama is, in fact, a Muslim – a recent survey showed that 54% of Republicans believe the President is Islamic, not Christian.

Will Representative Speciale pay a political price for this?  I’m guessing not.  He won both of his elections with almost 60% of the vote, which would tell me that his district is safely Republican.  That being said, he makes all elected officials – particularly those who share his point of view – look like offensive morons.  This is one of the many reasons why so many in the public have a hard time taking elected officials seriously.  It’s a shame.

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.