5 Social Media Screw-Ups That Made The Powerful Look Stupid
Some of the world's most successful people aren't great at the dang Facetweets, but you'd think they'd at least have the awareness to hire competent people to do it for them. After all, your public image isn't something to leave in the care of some bumbling jackass -- especially if that bumbling jackass is you. Here's what happens if you do that anyway ...
Multiple Public Officials' Social Media Teams Have Accidentally Broadcast Them With Cat Filters
Judging by the dour expressions of everyone involved, politics in Northwest Pakistan is very serious business conducted by very serious men. Thankfully, there was someone on hand at a recent press conference to turn those sourpusses into a much more pleasant kind of puss -- the sort that gets painted on the faces of giggling children when they visit the local carnival.
That's what happened when the social media team of Pakistan Minister of Information Shaukat Yousafzai accidentally turned on the "cat filter" while livestreaming a press conference on Facebook, turning his and his cohorts' grim countenances into those of exasperated dads at a makeup party. At least Yousafzai had a sense of humor about the mishap, acknowledging it as simple human error and suggesting that everybody "not take everything so seriously."
Unfortunately, the citizens of British Columbia were less inclined to laugh things off when a similar incident occurred the following month in Canada. This time, the cat filter was turned on during a press conference in which a Royal Canadian Mounted Police Spokesperson was giving the public information in regards to a double murder. It was blamed on an "automatic setting." You know, one of those new models with AI that detects when things are getting too depressing and tries to lighten the mood by making everyone look like they're introducing the next episode of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.
HMV Bosses Neglected To Secure Their Twitter Before Mass Layoffs
In social media spheres, 16 minutes make for a long time. That's how long it took the heads of retail chain HMV to realize they left the staff they were firing in control of their official Twitter account. When threats of downsizing loomed over HMV headquarters in 2013, 4,500 jobs were on the line. Seems like that would be a good time to really tighten up procedures and keep a grip on lines of communication, right? Whether it was ignorance, stupidity, or good ol' laziness, the brass overlooked such details before the announcement that dozens of employees were being laid off, effective immediately.
Thus were Twitter followers treated to a live account of the layoffs, which allegedly prompted the cartoonishly inept-sounding marketing director to ask "How do I shut down Twitter?" It seems the answer was "Not in a timely fashion," as the employees sent several more tweets that likened the firings to a mass execution, among other things, before the company wrestled back control of the account and deleted the posts.
The Air Force Related The "Yanny Or Laurel" Meme To Killing People
Remember when that "Yanny/Laurel" sound clip broke the internet? If you don't, here's a quick explainer. Basically, for science reasons, some people hear a certain recording as a person saying "yanny" and others hear "laurel." It was an aural version of the blue-black/white-gold dress, and if you don't know what that is, please let us move into your world.
People liked, shared, and generally beat this mildly interesting meme into the ground until it found its way to the cesspool of social media: corporate Twitter. It's bad enough when companies desperately try and fail to look like they're hip with the kids by posting dank memes; it's a bit worse when the U.S. Air Force does it to brag about killing people. In May 2018, the official Air Force Twitter account posted this:
That's probably not incorrect, but it's definitely wrong. There's a lot to unpack here, so we'll say that while the worst thing about this tweet was posting it at all, the second-worst was the ridiculous overuse of hashtags. Are they the Air Force, or a guy trying to start a gaming channel on YouTube? The inevitable follow-up arrived shortly:
It's generally not the best idea to take advantage of a lighthearted social media trend when you're killing people with bullets as big as someone's forearm.
The Israeli Embassy In Brazil And The Badly Censored Lobster
In July 2019, the Israeli ambassador to Brazil was invited to a soccer game as the guest of President Jair Bolsonaro. The pair even had dinner together before the game, where they snapped a pic for social media. Sounds like a diplomatic win! Except here's the picture, as posted by the Israeli embassy's official Twitter account:
We hear the pate de smoke monster is the the house specialty.
If you can tear your attention away from the heartthrobs for a moment, you'll notice that somebody appears to have crudely scribbled out the meals. Who would do such a thing, and why? Perhaps the ambassador lives next to a Brazilian Dennis the Menace who's always ruining his photo ops with wacky hijinks. After all, there's no way this could be the work of trained diplomatic staff trying to hide the fact that the ambassador was eating a notably non-kosher meal of lobster.
Now, there's no ban on Israeli diplomats eating non-kosher food. If a cultural attache wants to hork down buckets of clams like a drunk sea lion, that's his business. Apparently, though, the embassy was worried that religious Jews would be upset if they posted a shot of the ambassador fist-deep in forbidden crustacean, so they tried to censor it in exactly the same way your aunt tried to excise that scumbag Darren from her Cancun '98 photo album.
It turns out the ambassador didn't even eat sea rat. He claims he "did not eat what was on my plate (but did not reject it) so as not to offend participants" and later switched to salmon, dashing our hopes of a slapstick meal where the ambassador quickly flipped a piece of lobster into the bushes every time Bolsonaro looked away.
Kanye West Accidentally Tweeted Himself Using Pirated Software
Kanye West is the Kanye West of Kanye Wests. He's carefully crafted the image of an egomaniac by being an egomaniac, but he also obviously leans into it because the media eats it up. That's why when he got caught illegally downloading software, it was actually an embarrassing moment for him.
In 2016, West tweeted a screenshot to show that he was listening to a Sufjan Stevens song, but eagle-eyed followers noted that another tab in his browser showed him using Pirate Bay to illegally download a $200 program called Serum. One of those followers was Deadmau5, who had quite a few things to say about his fellow Tidal ambassador's behavior. OK, really just one.
"What's the big deal? It's only $200. What is that, like, a couple of white T-shirts?"
It is pretty rich, considering that not only did Kanye release his latest album exclusively on Jay-Z's streaming service, but he had also tried to pursue legal action against The Pirate Bay for circulating it mere weeks earlier. When Billboard interviewed Kanye in the aftermath, his response was essentially "It's a prank, brah." He didn't deny that someone was ripping the software; just that it wasn't him. It wasn't even his computer. Also, he totally knew how it would look, so he tweeted it for the lolz. Kanye is a master troll, and he did use the incident to promote Tidal, so it's entirely possible that he's playing 4D chess. It's also possible that he's an idiot. You never can tell with that guy.
E. Reid Ross has a book called BIZARRE WORLD that's due to be released in September. He's practically on his knees begging that you pre-order it now from Amazon or Barnes and Noble and leave a scathing/glowing review. Alan is on Twitter and also has a blog about podcasts.
For more, check out 6 Shockingly Out-Of-Touch Celebrities - The Spit Take:
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