We all think our tweets are hilarious, which is why we have followers to remind us when they’re not. But once tweets go viral for being wildly inappropriate, ignorant, or just plain wrong, deleting them won’t put an end to the backlash. Social media may have its perks, but it’s the only form of expression that can stir up controversy and cause career-ending criticism in a matter of seconds.
When it comes to Twitter, everyone’s watching. Everyone’s waiting for celebrities and big corporations to screw up. And even we normal folk aren’t safe. A slip up can get us fired from our 9-5, reveal the truth behind our meticulously designed online image, and even inspire other Twitter users to track us down and mail us a box of their poop. Here’s 14 of the most shocking Tweets ever.
13. When The Education System Fails
When an Illinois high school student decided to voice her opinion about the decision made indicting Darren Wilson for the murder of Michael Brown in 2014, she encouraged the public to question the public school system in less than 140 characters. Her tweet, “I don’t feel sorry for black people. If you hate us so much GO BACH TO AFRICA. We should have never bought you” verifies that the public schools really need to step up their game. Not only is she proving that her education has failed her in her knowledge of the history of black Americans, but it seems her grammar instructors failed her as well.
Instead of immediately deleting the tweet and apologizing for her ignorance, she tweeted herself further into a grammatically incorrect ditch. “This wouldn’t happen if black people wouldn’t act like hooligans. They act like we owe them everything. THEYRE OWN COUNTRY SOLD THEM TO US. A long time ago too so you can’t really act like we owe you.” Hopefully the backlash from these tweets inspires her to stay in high school a few extra years.
12. The Onion Insults 9-Year-Old Actress
We all know that Quvenzhané Wallis is just super adorable. Apparently the genius monitoring The Onion’s Twitter page during The Oscars several years ago thought so too, tweeting: “Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Quvenzhané Wallis is kind of a [c-word], right?” For those who don’t know, Quvenzhané Wallis is a child actress and was only ten-years-old at the time. She’s so innocent that she threw a puppy shaped purse over her shoulder as she walked down the red carpet. The Onion eventually deleted the tweet and apologized. Hopefully Quvenzhané is too young to be on Twitter.
11. Kathleen Zellner Reveals New Evidence
We’ve all been waiting patiently for more evidence to be revealed in the Steven Avery case, and it seems his new lawyer, Kathleen Zellner, picked up on this vibe and used it to gain followers. She fed the public a series of tweets, seemingly revealing new evidence and accusing DA Ken Kratz of encouraging Avery to admit guilt so they could profit from a book written about the case.
Some of her more interesting tweets were, “Also body was not burned in burn pit bc heat would have burned down Avery’s garage. A lot of junk,” and “Culprit had to remove his own DNA from key so TH’s removed in process. Rub key on Avery’s clothes for skin cells. Presto.” She later deleted the tweets, and left us all wondering about the validity of her statements.
10. Boston Marathon Bombing Victim
The public may never forget the photo 22-year-old Alicia Ann Lynch tweeted on Halloween of 2013, when she thought it would be appropriate to dress as a victim from the Boston Marathon bombing just months after it happened. Her tweet resulted in one of the largest Twitter backlashes in history, inevitably getting her fired from her job and destroying her reputation. An older tweet revealing her address added to her misery, allowing the bullying to continue long after all of her social media accounts were deleted. Her parents were threatened, feces were mailed to her house, and sexually explicit photos of her were made public.
She eventually got back on Twitter to apologize, saying “I have been fired from my job. I am paying for what I thought was a simple joke. I know it was wrong now. I wasn’t thinking.”
9. Hot For Teacher
Carly McKinney, a high school teacher at Overland High School in Colorado, felt it was appropriate to tweet half naked photos of herself with captions admitting to being high and even having drugs on school property. “Watching a drug bust go down in the parking lot. It’s funny cuz I have weed in my car in the staff parking lot.”
She was immediately put on administrative leave, and eventually fired for her actions. Her only response was a claim that the profile was a joke and that she’d created it with a friend.
8. The Patriot’s Racist Tweet
When the New England Patriots hit a million Twitter followers, they chose to mark the milestone with a tweet honoring their millionth follower. Too bad they didn’t pick up on this fan’s highly racist username until it was too late. They recognized this follower by sticking their Twitter handle, @IHATENIGGERSS, on the back of a Patriot’s jersey and even mentioned him in the tweet.
It was quickly deleted and an apology was later posted blaming this colossal mistake on their “filter system” along with a promise to be more “vigilant” in the future.
7. Jackson Murphy vs. Amy Schumer
Jackson Murphy, child film critic who began his career at the wee age of seven, has been caught in several celebrity feuds over the years as his humor tends to be, well, more shockingly inappropriate than humorous. Perhaps he was going for shock value after the Critics Choice Awards when he tweeted a selfie of him and Amy Schumer along with a caption stating, “Spent the night with @amyschumer. Certainly not the first guy to write that.”
Well, the kid certainly has balls. Schumer responded tweeting, “I get it. Cause I’m a wh*re? Glad I took a photo with you. Hi to your dad.” Even though Murphy deleted the tweet and apologized repeatedly, it doesn’t seem like all was forgiven. Perhaps Murphy should leave comedy to the professionals.
6. It’s Not Delivery. It’s DiGiorno
Back when a video hit the internet showing professional football player Ray Rice punching his fiancée Janay Palmer, the hashtags #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft were trending on Twitter. They gave domestic violence victims the chance to shed light on why they stayed in abusive relationships or what gave them the courage to leave. However, not everyone used the hashtag properly. It seems DiGiorno, the frozen pizza brand which claims to be just as good as delivery, didn’t realize what the hashtag was “about” before posting this insensitive tweet, “#WhyIStayed You had pizza.” Whoops!
5. Chrysler Drops F-Bomb
Everyone makes mistakes, but when your mistake is seen by thousands of people and gets you fired from your job, it’s probably hard to live down. Scott Bartosiewicz, former New Media Strategies employee and social media enthusiast, accidentally posted a tweet intended for his own page on a client’s page. Coincidentally, the tweet was related to the client’s product. His tweet from Chrysler’s Twitter account read, “I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to f**king drive.” The tweet was quickly deleted and he was terminated from his job. On the bright side, he no longer has to deal with the rush hour commute!
4. Kenneth Cole Promotes Spring Collection
Kenneth Cole, a well-known clothing and accessories brand, chose to use the “Arab Spring” revolution in Egypt to promote their brand. Using #Cairo, which was trending as updates on what was happening in Egypt were pouring in, Kenneth Cole insensitively tweeted, “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online.” They quickly deleted the tweet and apologized after severe backlash criticized their flawed attempt to promote their spring line.
3. Why You Shouldn’t Tweet Your Drug Dealer
Getting through the work week is rough, but tweeting in search of a drug dealer? REALLY? Sunith Baheerathan, an auto mechanic in Canada, did exactly that. “Any dealers in Vaughan wanna make a 20sac chop? Come to Keele/Langstaff Mr. Lube, need a spliff or two to help me last this open to close.”
For those who don’t know, spliff is slang for a hybrid tobacco/marijuana cigarette. His stupidity was even noticed by the local police, who wittily responded, “Awesome! Can we come too?”
2. Entenmanns’ Twitter Slip Up
When Casey Anthony was found not guilty for the murder of her daughter in 2011, the public exploded with anger on all social media platforms, causing #NotGuilty to trend on Twitter. It seems major corporations can’t find the time to research a hashtag before throwing it out there, resulting in poor attempts at brand marketing. Entenmanns was quick to use the trending hashtag to their advantage, tweeting, “Who’s #notguilty about eating all the tasty treats they want?!”
Hmm…not exactly the ideal way to get your brand out there. They quickly deleted the tweet and claimed they hadn’t intended to use a hashtag related to the Casey Anthony case.
1. When You Accidentally Tweet Adult Entertainment
Gerry Hamilton, an ESPN recruiting analyst who covers college football, hilariously tweeted a link to a PornHub video giving 15,000 followers insight into his erotic preferences. He deleted the tweet immediately after he realized his mistake, but it was too late. While he never responded to inquiries about the tweet, an employee at Pornhub did reach out to him, tweeting “I heard you like Pornhub. Want to switch jobs for the day?”