In the age of social media we can all be guilty of occasionally over sharing and flaunting our opinions through digital means. After all, it’s a forum designed to express ourselves. But just how far is too far when it comes to tweeting without thinking?
It doesn’t take long for a tweet or facebook post to accrue a long string of comments all making a situation worse – even if it was posted in the heat of the moment. Take for instance, the Sunderland man who was recently charged in connection with an offensive tweet about the two Newcastle United supporters who died in the MH17 crash in Ukraine. I’m sure he regrets that now.
Jason Biggs also tweeted an inappropriate joke just hours after the doomed plane was shot down, “Anyone wanna buy my Malaysian Airlines frequent flier miles?”
Rhianna’s recent decision to tweet in support of Palestinian’s as the conflict between Israel and Gaza reached death toll highs was also unsurprisingly not well received. The singer posted the hashtag #FreePalestine, only swiftly removing it eight minutes later.
The tweet created lots of rift when around 36.4 million fans asked her ‘why she is pro-Palestine.’ Although Rhianna said she didn’t even realise she had sent the tweet and that she had merely clicked on a link which automatically posted the pro-Palestine message, it goes to show just how easily a tweet can go viral and cause mayhem.
Another case is Bill Maher who recently expressed his opinions on Twitter regarding the tensions in the Middle East by likening Hamas, the Palestinian militant group, to a “crazy woman” that “you just have to slap.” Naturally, there was a bit of an uproar over his sexist comment that seemed to make light of domestic violence and belittle women!
Although many of these people have done the decent thing and apologised, is it really ever enough? Why make the statement at all? Take five minutes to mull over what you are about to say and consider if it is morally acceptable – particularly if you are in the public eye and have a wider audience than the average person.
So does Twitter encourage you to make a twit of yourself? Maybe, if you can’t think about the repercussions before you tweet.