For better or worse, Twitter is a full-fledged phenomenon these days. And why not? How else are we supposed to know when Ashton Kutcher is going to the grocery store? But as fantastic as it is to finally be able to let people know that you're in a shoe store without having to tote along a laptop, technology should be used with caution. There are just some places where you really shouldn't get your tweet on. For example...
Unless you're a sports announcer or you happen to be hosting the last hour of the Today Show, getting hammered while doing anything that involves communicating with people via technology is usually a bad idea. For most of us, tweeting while drunk isn't a problem, provided you are among the 99.9 percent of users that nobody gives a shit about. But for celebrities, it's a whole different story. For every tweet, there are countless scrutinizing bloggers and journalists praying that you say something stupid.
San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Brian Wilson found this out the hard way.
After blowing his first save of the season during a day game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, a team that couldn't hit their way into the second round of a Whack-A-Mole tournament, fans and sportswriters started looking for something to blame his shitty performance on. In short order, they came up with a plausible theory thanks to this...
As Wilson's tweets from the night before reveal, not only does he drink pansy ass coffee drinks and aspire to be Don Johnson circa 1985, but he was hanging out in a bar (and coming dangerously close to getting into fistfights) until after 1 am the morning of the game. Sure, damn near all of us have shown up to work hungover before, but we aren't getting paid millions of dollars to do our shit.
Above: Cracked headquarters, Monday morning.
After word of the ill-timed tweets got out, fans far and wide were questioning Wilson's dedication to the game. A few feeble attempts at explaining himself later (it was all made up!), Wilson did what most of us hope all Twitter users will do eventually. He deleted his Twitter account entirely.
What would Twitter be if it didn't give users the opportunity to lord the awesomeness of their station in life over their lowly friends?
It's only natural that if you're heading out for a kickass vacation you would want to tell everyone about it. That's great if you're just relaying the information to people you trust. But some people find joy in telling the entire goddamned world about it. But with that joy comes some inherent risks, chief among them, the risk that Internet criminals will know that your home and the thousands of dollars worth of computer and video equipment inside it are unoccupied and waiting for hot singles in their area to steal them and pawn them off for drug money.
The above video is a news report about Israel Hyman, a professional podcaster (really?) who posted a tweet to let the entire Internet know that he was going to be out of town for awhile.
In turn, the Internet (or at least a very small portion of it) decided to break into his home and take some shit. Granted, it can't be conclusively proven that the tweet led to the break in, but damn, is that really the kind of shit you want to tell everyone about? Prior to the Internet, did people who left town post giant signs on their house saying they were bailing for a few days? Nope, that would just be stupid. But apparently, posting the same information on the Web is completely reasonable. In our professional opinion, for his blatant stupidity, Israel kind of deserved to have his shit tooken. (Welcome to the comments section, Grammar Police!)
Understand, when we say don't tweet from school, we're not talking about students. You little bastards can do whatever you please. Social Networking is one of the only things making money these days so maybe tweeting your way through Pre Calc is the exact type of training you need for the future.
Instead, we're talking about teachers. Listen up Teach, children are the future (insert shivers down spine here), it's your job to ensure that future is not one that resembles the underrated Mike Judge cult-classic, Idiocracy. The least you could do is lay off the tweeting when you're in class and pay some attention to your flock. And we're sure 99 percent of the teachers out there do. That's more than can be said for some as of yet nameless teacher in Scotland.
This beacon of positive childhood development found time between handing out hall passes and confiscating switchblades to post several derogatory messages about her students on Twitter. A number of those tweets were posted during classroom hours, including these niceties:
"The thought of having some of my S4 beyond exam time doesn't bear thinking about."
"Had S3 period 6 Friday for last two years, usually following two periods prep time. Don't know who least wants to do anything, them or me"
"Have three Asperger's boys in S1 class - never a dull moment! Always offer an interesting take on things."
"Haha, and you say there's no cure for Asperger's? That's great, you're hilarious, keep it up."
We're not sure what S3, S1 or S4 means, but we're guessing it's similar to the metric system in that most Americans don't care to learn anything about it. Of course, once parents got wind of the teacher's lackadaisical attitude toward their presumably asshole kids, they were furious. One parent expressed her outrage thusly, "She is paid a lot of money to do her job and it is unbelievable that she is sitting talking about them on a computer rather than teaching." Highly paid teachers? You foreigners is so crazy!
Alright, so tweeting from Guatemala in general probably isn't a problem, but you may want to limit your activity to details of your previous night's dinner exploits or mourning the death of Billy Mays. For example Twitter user Jeanfer, or @Jeanfer if you're a trendy fuckstick, will have a good long while to think about what happens when you get too comfortable with the idea of Internet anonymity. Check out this saucy tweet...
Seriously! That takes some cojones! What's that? You want us to translate? Jesus tap dancing Christ you're lazy. Fine, it says, "The first action people should take is to remove cash from Banrural, and break the banks of corrupt people #escandalogt." Also, cojones are testicles, or "balls" as the kids like to say.
As for the #escandalogt thing, that is a Twitter hash tag used to identify tweets relating to the assassination of Guatemalan attorney Rodrigo Rosenberg. You see, shortly before his death, Rosenberg posted a YouTube video claiming that then Guatemalan president Alvaro Colom was going to have him killed. Not one to back down from a challenge, Colom did just that (allegedly). Rosenberg was indeed assassinated a few days later. A video of Rosenberg's plea mashed up with a Black Eyed Peas song has yet to be posted, but give it time. Anyway, because Banrural was linked to the scandal that led to Rosenberg's assassination, Jeanfer suggested a run on the bank in an effort to bankrupt them.
In response to the tweet, Jeanfer was subjected to the most efficient criminal justice prosecution in history when he was raided, arrested, sent before a judge and sentenced all in one day. Apparently, recommending a run on banks is a crime in Guatemala, and Jeanfer was sentenced to prison until he is able to pay a $9,600 fine. Never mind the fact that this is more cash than most Guatemalans bring home in a year, what we want to know is exactly how the 37-year-old IT guy is going to scrape together the money while being simultaneously incarcerated.
Or maybe we don't want to know.
You know what really gets under people's skin? Having their entire neighborhood annexed into oblivion by way of a city council vote. When shit like that jumps off, folks tend to want to have some say in it before the bulldozers show up to reduce their happy home to a pile of lead paint and asbestos.
On the bright side, free Starbucks for life!
It's a good thing that most states have laws in place that prevent city council meetings from taking place without the public having the ability to attend. And it's a good thing for the sake of this article that Mukilteo, WA city council member Jennifer Gregerson either doesn't know these laws exist or, more hilariously, has no idea what "debrief" means.
After sending an unnecessarily high number of tweets during a city council meeting on a proposed plan to annex 11,500 residents from their homes, Gregerson followed up with this ill-advised message:
"City staff and some council now Debriefing and relaxing at ivars for late night happy hour. Time for dinner, I think!"
"Hey, what goes good with getting rid of 12,000 residents? Would that be a red, or white?"
Four council members were present at the late night soiree along with Mayor Joe Marine and City Attorney Angela Belbeck. According to Washington's Open Meeting Act, debriefing among four or more members of the city council constitutes a quorum and the public must be allowed to attend. By including the word "debrief" in and/or failing to add "LOL! Plz to come join us you guyz!" at the end of her tweet, Gregerson implied that the city council was breaking the law. Naturally, people noticed. Among those who were less than impressed with the clandestine meeting was the awesomely named Mukilteo resident, Christine Awad Schmalz, who had this to say:
"I've lived in other cities in the U.S. and I've never seen anything quite so blatant as sitting in your local restaurant one goes and sitting there like that."
Fucking government hotshots, always sitting in restaurants one goes and shit. It's enough to make a person form a militia. But instead of rising up in arms against her oppressors, Awad Schmalz said she was going to file a formal complaint. So far, no action has been taken against the city council members, but in a nice twist that says, "This shitty town only has one goddamned bar," Mayor Jim Marine's opponent in the upcoming mayoral election, Pat Smith, was at Ivar's that night also and used the incident as campaign fodder. According to Smith, he believes Gregerson, "spoke the truth, that her Twitter was accurate, and that misbehavior that broke the law did occur." As for Pat, he was just there to quietly get trashed in the corner.
Among the discussion about why the terrorists hate us, there should probably be a sidebar about why the terrorists choose to fuck with us so much. If we're giving our two cents, we'd say that it's probably because sometimes, just like the fat chick who wears spandex pants and tube tops for no discernible reason, we're easy targets.
Michigan Congressman Pete Hoekstra demonstrated this with a series of ill advised tweets about his specific locations during a trip to Iraq, including a 12 hour advance notice of his plans to visit the war torn country. After touching down, he made sure to let the insurgents--his loving public--know that he "just landed in Iraq." Shortly thereafter came news that he "Moved into green zone by helicopter, Iraqi flag now over palace. Headed to new U.S. embassy." That was followed up with "Cake boy in Citgo restroom just outside Basrah. Looking for twinks for rough play in next 30 minutes." Fine, maybe we made that last one up.
Anyway, in all fairness we're pretty confident that terrorists aren't planning their activities around Twitter updates, but the controversy surrounding this story might lead them to consider it. There is a reason why most politicians make "surprise" visits to Iraq, that reason being that they don't want some grammatically challenged Afghani 14-year-old commenting on their beheading on YouTube.
After democrats cried hypocrisy over Hoekstra's tweets (he previously spoke out against the unauthorized leaking of information), the Congressman responded in typical political fashion by blaming opposition party members of doing the same thing before adding a completely not plausible defense. "You don't know it's the exact time, you don't know whether I sent that the minute I got in the car, whether it's halfway to the embassy or after I got that." Pete, nobody tweets about the past. That's the entire point of Twitter. If you said you were at the embassy at 11:56, you were. Just be glad you didn't get abducted and stop using Twitter. That goes for the rest of you too.
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