Twitter has lit up with criticism for Argentinian president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner after she posted a message making fun of how the Chinese supposedly speak.
The outspoken Ms Fernandez had tweeted about how some people from China struggle to correctly pronounce the letter ‘r’.
Tweeting in her native Spanish from a trade event in China, she said:
“More than 1,000 participants at the event… Are they all from the Campola and in it only for the lice [rice] and petloleum [petroleum]?”
The Campola is the name given to the youth movement of Ms Fernandez’s political party.
Despite her supporters claiming that the tweet was nothing more than a light-hearted comment referencing a domestic joke, many people in China and Argentina disagreed.
People’s news feeds were lit up with criticism. For example, @GuyChazan, a journalist for the Financial Times, tweeted:
“Faux pas in China. Really, this sort of joke went out of fashion in the 70s.”
Another tweet from Argentinian @FaundezLafarga said:
“Cristina Fernandez’s lack of judgement and respect is incredible. She goes to China looking for [trade] agreements and she makes fun of their accents.”
There was a later apology from Ms Fernandez. However, it was not until the topics ‘Campola’ and ‘China’ were trending on Twitter.
At the time of writing, there had been no response from the Chinese government. However, the episode goes to show the importance for a level of editing to be in place for any organisation using social media.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) copywriting services can provide this, ensuring that no embarrassing or unintendedly controversial messages enter clients’ tailored news feeds.