The perils of the Twitter gaffe and how not to insult Harry, Meghan and Archie
Words have always been powerful but get it wrong and they will come back to haunt you – ask Danny Baker.
This has always been true, and in media we know it more than most as we have always been scrutinised, but the average person typing into Twitter may not realise they are publishing – and with publishing comes responsibility.
It’s not just your normal Tweeting public – many celebrities didn’t get the memo either and fall foul of unwise or simply inappropriate or unsavoury statements, which they heartily live to regret.
Danny Baker is this week’s high-profile culprit, losing his Radio Five Live show on the back of a picture with undeniably racist overtones aimed at the royal family - namely the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and new baby Archie Harrison.
You Tube star Jack Maynard learned his lesson the hard way when old homophobic-language tweets – published when he was aged 16-19 – got him booted out of the celebrity jungle after just three days when they came to light, despite his fans arguing ‘people change and grow up.’
Others, including You Tube megastar Zoe Sugg, have had to rightly or wrongly explain old homophobic-sounding tweets as youthful ignorance.
Meanwhile, actress Bette Midler gathered the ire of the Trump-supporting public when she insulted Melania with a barbed tweet and pic about her appearance.
Young pop star Lorde made an unfortunate Whitney Houston reference while taking a selfie in the bath. Whitney died in a bathtub.
Twitter gaffes are easily done and some are more accidental than others’ deliberately off-colour remarks.
There is no room for racism in the real or online world, as Roseanne Barr found out – she lost her eponymous TV show from an unacceptable tweet.
No organisation wants to have their reputation tarnished by association and the more famous the star, the greater the fall.
But don’t think non-star status makes you immune from losing your job or being sued.
Prospective employers can read your tweets as can the police.
As Jack Maynard later commented, don’t say online anything you wouldn’t say to your mother.
Wise words, though it might be wise to pretend your mother is the Queen.