May 2, 2009

How I Almost Destroyed The British Government In Under 140 Characters

Some of you may follow me on Twitter. If not, you can find me here. (You might as well. I have no reason to believe Twitter won't be around and popular forever. Unlike Friendster and Napster which were awesomely cool until we realized we were tricked and they weren't.)

Anyway, last week I noticed "Britain's Got Talent" singer, Susan Boyle, had been in the "Trending Topics" list on Twitter for awhile - so I tweeted a joke about her. I wrote: "I'm not saying Susan Boyle causes swine flu. I'm just saying nobody had swine flu, she sang on TV, people got swine flu."

It was a perfectly fine comedy joke. I noticed within a few hours it was "re-tweeted" (forwarded) a bunch of times on Twitter. (And I'd like to be clear that the only reason I even noticed it was retweeted like that was because I relentlessly clicked the button that showed me all the retweets to feed my pathetic ego. And it was like a 120 times. But whatever. I don't care.)

A few days later a reader sent me an email with the subject line "YOU MAY HAVE CAUSED A PROBLEM." Inside it read "And it's funnier than ever." They also included a link to this article from a British newspaper.

It seems a Junior Minister in the Britain's Labor Party is on Twitter -- and he retweeted the joke. Only it wasn't met with too many LOLs.

According to the article, "Tories were horrified" and "fellow Labour MPs were aghast. 'It's infantile, isn't it,' one says. 'Hasn't he got enough to do?'"

My initial reaction was "No! I'm the infantile one! I'm the one who doesn't have enough to do!" But then I thought, this disease really is spreading all over the place and actually killing people -- so I think I'm cool with sharing credit on it.

The Junior Minister later pulled the post off Twitter and apologized saying "Earlier I repeated a joke that was in poor taste, which I now regret. I apologise wholeheartedly for any distress or embarrassment caused."

For what it's worth bro, I forgive you.

The episode was also mentioned in this Telegraph article about Worst Tweets.

See, that was always the problem with Friendster. Way too difficult to horrify Tories.

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Posted by Steven | Archive