Twitter claims another political victim

Posted on April 12, 2010


Another day and another figure in the public eye goes to the wall after a terminal case of Twitter insanity.

Labour election candidate Stuart MacLennan insulted several high profile political figures on the social networking site. Those under fire include Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg – a ‘b******’, Labour MP Diane Abbot – a‘f****** idiot’ and Speaker for the House Of Commons John Bercow, who was labelled a‘t****’.

Mr MacLennan, who was standing for the Moray constituency in Scotland, also complained about being ‘up North’ and branded the elderly as ‘coffin dodgers’.

In a statement MacLennan, 24, said:

“Some of the things I twittered before I became a candidate were very, very silly and I can see they are offensive.

“I have let myself and my friends down and am really sorry.”

He was sacked and replaced with a new candidate who will contest the safe Scottish National Party seat.

With the number of people logging on to social networking sites hitting the stratosphere, Facebook has over 300m users, and in the first quarter of 2010 4 billion tweets were sent, and as such faux pas have increased significantly. Such a slip for a company with a large online profile could be disastrous, and the hapless Mr MacLennan highlights the need for watertight online reputation management.

As businesses increase their presence online, it’s not unusual to see them building a following on Facebook or Twitter as a means of enhancing their reputation. They may attempt to connect with customers by tweeting the latest news or offers, but without a clear policy and guidelines such calamities can and do happen.

If it does, then you may need more than ninja SEO skills to repair the damage.

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