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Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Aug 16 / Jennifer Di Sano

Social media butterfingers

Just call me “butterfingers.”

I move fast, it’s part of my job. I wear a few different hats: Web content admin, project manager, social media person. There is never a part of my day where I am only working on just one thing… and then the phone rings. It’s a constant juggling act.

In fact, I always felt this position was perfect for my personality as I’m a bit hyperactive and usually thinking about 20 things at once anyway.

This multi-tasking thing might have to change. I screwed up. It happens. But this particular screw up was broadcast to the university’s 5,000 or so Twitter followers.

One word: ass. Yeeaaah.

How it happened

This was around 8 in the morning. I had just sat down at my desk and was going through emails and tweets. I launched TweetDeck and then continued typing an email, signed in to another program and typed some notes in another window.

Next thing I know my boss says, “Hey, Jenn, you might want to delete that tweet.”

I look over at TweetDeck and there it was staring at me, moving down the column in what seemed like slow motion: ass. Somehow my cursor unknowingly wound up in TweetDeck and picked up a portion of word but it came out as “ass.” I mean, could it have been another word at least? Geez.

Within seconds people were tweeting us asking if we got hacked or is the Twitter person had been fired. I deleted it immediately and responded with, “Sorry folks! #socialmediafail” and then shook my head the rest of the day. Who knows what people were thinking when they read that.

Lesson learned

I make it a point to not post things from TweetDeck because there is no confirmation before anything goes out. All it takes is one strike of the return key. I use an application that was developed in house and I actually have to click “save” and select a time before it goes out to the world.

This started a conversation among my coworkers about some well-known Twitter screw ups. Someone working for Chrylser mistakenly sent out a tweet from the official account, rather than his own: “I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to f**king drive.”

So, at least I didn’t drop an F bomb.

There was a similar incident with a Red Cross employee who tweeted “Ryan found two more 4 bottle packs of Dogfish Head’s Midas Touch beer… when we drink we do it right #gettngslizzerd.” She also thought she was tweeting from her personal account. The Red Cross responded with humor: “We’ve deleted the rogue tweet but rest assured the Red Cross is sober and we’ve confiscated the keys.”

One thing I do not do is combine my personal and work Twitter accounts in any application. I figured one day I would accidentally tweet something from my work account. I just didn’t want to take this chance.

So go figure, I was trying to be careful. Lesson learned here is simply: slow down.


  1. Rolaine / Aug 17 2011

    Hilarious Jenn! We all have our momentous screw-ups at work 🙂 It makes us laugh. We learn then live to tell about it which makes working so much fun!

  2. Eric Stoller / Aug 17 2011

    It was an accident and you acknowledged it. It’s refreshing. I appreciate the transparency. Cheers!

  3. Eric Olsen / Aug 19 2011

    Wow! That’s my single greatest fear. Officially going right now to separate my personal accounts from Tweetdeck….

  4. Carol Baldwin / Aug 19 2011

    We all are thinking, “There but for the grace of God, go I.” It happens, and heck, you turned it into a hilarious post. Well done!

  5. Andrea Elkins / Aug 22 2011

    Been there, done that! Thanks for sharing.

    You have an application developed in-house for Twitter? Is it a front-end GUI of some sort? Care to share any details?

  6. Dan Fuoco / Oct 24 2011

    Like you said, “it happens.” You took the proper steps in handling the issue and addressed your followers.
    We’ve all done it or something close. I posted something political or slightly controversial on ALL of our 8 hospitals’ pages simultaneously (thank you Hootsuite). My boss didn’t find it cute. I don’t recall why I did it but I do know that I was multitasking and should have SLOWED DOWN.
    Nevertheless, the issue was handled before anyone commented so I was out of the hot seat.

    PS – I got a good laugh out of this embarASSing post. Good luck to your future posts. Lol.

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