You Are What You Tweet

A friendly “Hello” or even a bit of cheeky banter is acceptable when using social media but some people take it too far.

We were reminded once again a few weeks back how a Tweet or a Facebook post can have serious repercussions. As Voula Papachristou, a Greek Olympic athlete found out the hard way after using social media.

A week before the Olympics started Voula posted a racist tweet that referred to lots of Africans being in Greece. The tweet was a joke according to her, but the damage was already done. She received many replies on Twitter from angry and disgruntled fans before the post was deleted.

She apologised in a later tweet but it was already too late. She was expelled from the Olympics by the Greek Olympic Committee and that was the end of her Olympic dreams. Should she of been more careful? Yes, when you have almost 11,000 people following you then you should really be careful with any tweet or hash tag that you use.

It’s becoming more and more common seeing celebrities and high profile characters joining Twitter and posting to fans what they are doing or eating etc but mistakes are also happening. A few months ago Olympic swimmers Nick D’arcy and Kenrick Monk were banned from using Twitter during the Olympics due to posting pictures of them posing with guns.

The harmful tweets can also come from the other side as the popular Brit Tom Daley found out when he received hateful tweets after he failed to get a medal after finishing 4th in the doubles diving events. One teenager was even arrested over a Tweet but was then released on bail.

This is something similar to what’s happening with businesses which don’t understand social media and they think they can write anything and get away with it. They need people to come and show them the do’s and do not’s of social media or mistakes like this will become a much more common occurrence.

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