Ashton on Twitter timeout after Penn State tweets

Krystal Peak · November 10, 2011 · Short URL:

Celebrity apologizes after tweeting about the firing of Penn State coach

We've all done it. Retweeted something we didn't read all the way through or misspelled something or even wrote a tweet we later deleted. Celebrities are no different in the fallibility, except that more people notice and then repost the Twitter errors ad nauseam.

Ashton Kutcher is the latest, in a line of celebrities that have had to apologize and go on a Twitter hiatus because of a tweet that left many people scratching their head and several people enraged.

Wednesday night the @aplusk Twitter handle sent out a message in reference to Penn State firing its coach Joe Paterno for allegedly failing to report a coaching assistant to the police in a sexual abuse charge.

Kutcher's twitter account sent out the tweet: “How do you fire Jo Pa? #insult #noclass as a hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste.”

Kutcher and his wife Demi Moore have been very vocal activists against sexual slavery and violence around the globe and Kutcher's 8.2+ million followers are familiar with the barrage of tweets touting statistics about sexual violence.This passion for protecting women and children from sexual violence made the tweet even more curious to followers.

Kutcher even had a mini Twitter war not too long ago with the Village Voice over a discrepancy in the "Real Men Don't Buy Girls" ad campaign that Ashton supported.

When the Village Voice questioned some of the statistics that Kutcher was using for the sex slavery campaign, Kutcher claimed that the publisher had little clout in the matter since the paper features escort pages in the classified section and the back and forth continued several tweets.

This Penn State debacle, which resulted in the firing of two school official and is under investigation, has left @aplusk followers questioning whether Kutcher was just overly hasty in his post or if he, like many celebrities, has ghost writers for his tweets.

As a result of the rogue tweet, (which at this point, it is unclear if the tweet came from Kutcher, a ghost tweeter or a hacker) Kutcher has appartenly given himself a timeout on the site.

This timeout is a interesting turn of the tables for the celebrity who arguably snagged the leading role in a CBS blowout hit "Two and A Half Men" after another public celebrity's series of gaffes via Twitter and every other form of media.

But Kutcher is not alone in making Twitter statements he wishes he could truly erase.

Several other celebrities including Britney Spears and President Obama have people that tweet on their behalf but ghost tweeters or no, celebs are often under fire for insensitive or downright unintelligent tweets.

Most memorable of the list would be Comedian Gilbert Gottfried who lost his job as an Aflac spokesman in March after his tweets about the Japanese tsunami.

Designer Kenneth Cole also received heated responses to his tweet in February that connected his new line and the Arab Spring uprising: “Millions are in an uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is, they heard our new spring collection is online at [link].”

Jim Carrey, Sarah Palin, Kanye West, Chris Brown and Kim Kardashian have also been on notice as making twitter statements that offend or upset followers.

As more celebrities are drawn to connecting with fans online via Twitter and other social media, it becomes clear that the public will scrutinize even the tiniest of statements. There is no sign that these gaffes will be slowing down -- but I see some serious work opportunities for PR professionals to spot check tweets before they are sent. For the right fee, I am happy to make my service available.

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