social media

Celebrities: seriously, please watch what you tweet

Twitter has always been a minefield for the mouthier celebrities, but these days everyone seems to be at it – tweeting the wrong thing, tweeting abuse, even following the wrong people.

Twitter has always been a minefield for the mouthier celebrities, but these days everyone seems to be at it – tweeting the wrong thing, tweeting abuse, even following the wrong people. And the worst thing is, the UK’s own prime minister is included. Here’s a low-down on the latest Twitter offenders.
Peaches Geldof
The daughter of Band Aid founder Bob Geldof has hit the headlines recently regarding the Ian Watkins abuse scandal.
She tweeted the names of the two alleged mothers of the babies who were abused by the lead singer of Lostprophets, after supposedly reading them on a US news website.
Ms Geldof posted a number of tweets apologising for what happened, saying that she “assumed [as] they were also up on news websites and the court’s public file that they had been released for public knowledge. Will check tweets however and apologise for any offence caused.”
She could face a criminal investigation after tweeting the information to 160,000 followers, despite the tweet later being deleted. The Attorney General’s office says that publishing details which might identify the babies is a criminal offence.
James Arthur
The X Factor winner has recently been forced to quit Twitter after he was criticised for using the word “queer”. His record label has now taken over the account.
Mr Arthur had online disagreements with comedians Frankie Boyle and Matt Lucas after they challenged him, and continued to argue in a string of text messages with fellow former X Factor contestant Lucy Spraggan.
Mark Borkowski, a public relations expert, said that this demonstrates how Twitter can go very wrong. “You’re not going to shut down a Twitter account that has over two million followers,” Borkowski said. “There is a sell-by date stamped on these performers.”
Many have expressed concerns about Mr Arthur’s mental health following the feud.
Lady Gaga and Perez Hilton
After a horrific Twitter fight over the summer, in which Mr Hilton compared Lady Gaga to Madonna and hundreds of fans started tweeting him abuse, the fight has continued and Lady Gaga has said that she fears Mr Hilton might blow up her home.
She recently pleaded with her fans to stop issuing death threats on her behalf, and then said in an interview that because he was moving in next door to her, she was worried that he would try to set off a bomb.
Mr Hilton tweeted a link to the article and wrote: “I’ve got my son and mom here with me in NYC and you think I’m going to blow myself up? Stop doing drugs!”
He later tweeted again about the Applause singer’s alleged drug use, and the row looks set to continue as it has done for over two years.
David Cameron
Last month the prime minister’s Twitter account followed a high-class escort agency on Twitter, which said it offered the “finest London escorts to gentlemen of distinction.”
Downing Street has said that the account was followed back in 2009 when an automatic following system was in place. It has said that following does not indicate endorsement and that it is in the process of unfollowing accounts it deems inappropriate.
Mr Cameron’s account has also come under scrutiny recently after an offensive tweet about foreign secretary William Hague was favourited. Downing Street has said that a member of staff in charge of running the account was responsible for this and that it was an accident.
How careful do celebrities and public figures need to be on Twitter? Do you think they are being irresponsible? Let us know in the comments, or tweet us.
Photo: MDGovpics / Flickr