Yesterday there was a storm in the Twitter teacup when a local council posted something to their stream that arguably with hindsight they shouldn’t have.
I saw the post and while I can’t know what happened, it looked to me that a retweet had simply been posted to the wrong account, which is easily done especially when mobile and on an app that allows multiple accounts – I know – I’ve been there!
Back in December I was having a good old rant on my personal twitter account about a man on the bus who’d upset me! I was relaying the incident to my twitter followers and restricted by Twitter’s 140 character limit this took a succession of tweets which ended with me posting in one final tweet: “The dumb fuck”.
I somehow managed to cross post that last message and only that last message to the WV11 facebook page, potentially insulting around 3000 people. Once I’d realised what I’d done I quickly apologised, admitting what had happened and how, thankfully nearly everyone laughed it off. You can still see the public responses to it here, I let it stand on the site as the “damage” was done and our analytics at the time showed us only one person out of the 3000 who use our page had reported it as being offensive.
Honesty is the best policy
What I learned from this was honesty went a long way. By being up front and admitting I made a mistake and explaining how it happened (it was slip of the finger), after all it was an accident, I’m only human – it was accepted as just that and it blew over quickly.
It is quite likely it’s the same human error that occurred yesterday.
I know WV11 is a voluntarily run site and we don’t have the same restrictions placed on us that council officers do, but I feel it important to remember that they too are only human. Let them apologise and move on.
To use this faux pas to score political points (I’m looking at you Mr Councillor who jumped on the condemnation band wagon, among others) and potentially force a knee jerk reaction by “management” to restrict or block Twitter access can only be bad for the community who use social media to communicate with their council.
Let’s not let the naysayers blow this out of proportion. Mistakes happen to the best of us.