Recently we had our first social media faux pas: I had posted a tweet along the lines of “When in doubt, blow some sh!t up!” It was followed by a few writing hashtags and was in reference to the old “if you don’t know what to do, introduce a man with a gun” saying about writing a novel.
I actually scheduled the tweet in advance, (as I do with most of DPW tweets to save me time) and of course it posted not even an hour after the Manchester concert bombing. I had no idea about the bombing, (an neither did most of the people following DPW at the time) but one of our followers did. And he was pissed.
He immediately unfollowed us, quoted our tweet and said how disgusting we were in making fun of a tragedy, and pretty much called us out as assholes to the whole world via various trending hashtags. This happened minutes after the tweet posted while I was sitting on my couch writing an article. I didn’t notice the brewing controversy for probably an hour. But when I did, my heart sank.
I deleted the tweet, apologized and explained to the guy what had happened, (he was very understanding and even followed us again) and luckily nobody else realized what went down. But if that guy didn’t get my attention, the tweet could’ve ended up on trending news. Not good.
While that was a mild setback and only a disaster in the making, it really made me start to reevaluate how we go about things. I didn’t even know about the tragedy, yet one coincidental tweet almost started a chain reaction that could’ve ended all the hard work I’ve put into building this site.
Yes, the tweet came across as awful and in horrible taste. But our Twitter account has no history of that sort of thing. We mainly share writing tips and motivational things. So, was that follower’s outrage justified? Or was he being too sensitive?
In that particular situation, I completely feel he was justified in his anger. If he didn’t really know the kinds of things we generally tweet about (not to mention that the first word in our name is Drunken) I could see how he mistakenly thought we were being malicious. After all, a good chunk of social media is made up of dickheads who make fun of tragedy.
But I do believe he could’ve handled the situation a little better. Informing us of the poorly timed tweet was fine, but quoting it and calling us out as being possible assholes seemed unnecessary. And that brings me to the point of this article: is political correctness, an overly emotional way of thinking, and propensity to automatically get offended before the facts come out, hurting creativity?
Continue reading on the next page…