During the recent Republican debate, political pundit Ann Coulter sent out a controversial tweet over Twitter asking “How many f—ing Jews do these people think there are in the United States?” Not surprisingly, this has led to many attacks against Coulter. But she’s not the only one who has gotten into trouble lately over tweets they sent out, and not always recently.
Stephen Amell, star of Arrow and recent WWE guest star, weighed in on Texas student Ahmed Mohamed bringing a homemade clock to school and the trouble it got him into. People compiled his tweets on the subject. Amell’s first tweet on the subject stated “Stereotyping Texas isn’t any better than stereotyping Ahmed. Just so we’re clear.” This was followed up by asking a critic “How many times have you been to Texas?” While nowhere near as vulgar as Coulter’s message, this was still enough to provoke a wave of responses that led to Amell not only sending out numerous tweets of apology, but also vowing to step back from social media in general.
In Charlotte, North Carolina, Charlotte-Mecklenburg School tweeted about racial minorities suffering from a higher rate of absenteeism. Even though statistics back this up, the reaction proved the tweet was controversial and it was later removed.
On September 10, CNN reported that baseball legend Curt Schilling has been suspended by ESPN after a tweet equating Muslim extremism with fascism in Nazi Germany.
“It’s said only 5-10% of Muslims are extremists. In 1940, only 7% of Germans were Nazis. How’d that go?”
Meanwhile, in Canada, the mayor of Oakville, Ontario, also raised the specter of the Axis powers, criticizing the ruling Conservative party’s hiring of veterans to add additional security for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and comparing the move to Hitler and Mussolini’s hiring of paramilitary forces. The Toronto Star not only reprinted the tweets but also covered the reaction, which included the creation of #ResignMayorBurton, which trended on Twitter in Canada.
Also in Canada, a candidate for the Liberal Party in the upcoming federal election learned there is no statute of limitations on controversial tweets. His tweets from 2009 used terms like f—ing b—h and whore. Many felt these tweets were degrading to women everywhere. Global News reprinted his apology.
“In 2009, I lost my partner in a car accident in which a drunk driver was involved. This was an extremely difficult time for me personally and something I do not wish upon anyone. This emotional anguish led to an alcohol dependency problem and a complete lack of judgement when posting on social media. I am not proud of this period in my life, but with the help of my family and friends, I am proud to say that this is now behind me.”
So, if six-year-old tweets can land one in trouble, how long will these more recent controversial tweets haunt those who wrote them? And will public figures learn to think before they tweet?
[Photo by Gage Skidmore, via Flickr, as reprinted by The Huffington Post]