We now live in the age of social media. Everyone has access to information, real or fake, at the click of a mouse. From President Trump tweeting his foot into his mouth to a Democratic congressman finding himself in hot water for sexting multiple times, politics and social media fails just seem to go hand in hand in these modern times. These are some of the most ridiculous recent political social media fails!
Hawaii’s False Alarm
In January of 2018, the state of Hawaii — along with the rest of the United States — was sent into a state of terror. Residents of Hawaii were sent a push notification on their phones at 8:07 a.m. that read like something out of a nightmare, “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” Understandably, people were panicked. However, it turns out it was just a mistake. While the governor of Hawaii, David Ige, knew the entire thing was a mistake just two minutes later he did not personally issue a recall to the original message because he had forgotten his Twitter password.
Correcting A Massive Mistake
At 8:24 Governor Ige finally wrote on Twitter, “NO missile threat to Hawaii.” Later, he admitted, “I have to confess that I don’t know my Twitter account log-ons and the passwords.” The people who weren’t on Twitter had to wait 38 minutes until a follow-up was sent to their phone saying the original warning was a mistake. People were completely terrified during this time and some even made farewell calls to their family on the mainland. The official story is that someone “hit the wrong button” and now more safeguards have been put in place to prevent the same thing from happening again. Governor Ige also says he now has Twitter logged in on his phone for easy access, just in case.
Zac Efron’s Black History Month Mistake
Although Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was never a politician, his effects on politics and the Civil Rights movement are all-encompassing. Unfortunately for actor Zac Efron, he got on the wrong side of Black Twitter after he posted a thoughtless tweet seemingly equating Martin Luther King Day with gaining 10 million followers on Twitter. Zac tweeted, “I’m grateful for a couple things today: Martin Luther King Jr & 10 million followers on IG #MLKDay” followed by several dark-skinned hand emojis. Many Twitter users accused him of attempting to make the holiday about himself and others said it was disrespectful to Dr. King. Of course, Zac ended up deleting the social media faux pas and issued an apology in its place saying, “I have nothing but the greatest admiration & respect for MLK. My last post was insensitive & I apologize to anyone who I offended. So sorry.”
MTV Australia’s Racist Joke
Actresses Eva Longoria and America Ferrera are extremely outspoken about various political issues including immigrant rights and other Latino/a issues. This is why it was particularly offensive when MTV Australia posted a racist “joke” during the 2016 Golden Globes. As the two women took the stage to present, the MTV Australia Twitter account posted, “Where are the English subtitles? We have no idea what @AmericaFerrera and @EvaLongoria are saying.” Of course, Twitter was outraged by the overt racism, especially because the two women are American and both speak English fluently and without an accent. MTV Australia later apologized, although for many the apology was too little too late.
Trump Taunts Kim Jong-un
Everyone knows that Donald Trump loves a good taunting tweet. However, many are worried that his tweets toward the country of North Korea might eventually push the other leader too far. Both men, Trump and Kim Jong-un, are known to be rather hot-headed. So the world has been watching them with bated breath. In October of 2017 Trump tweeted, “I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man…Save your energy Rex, we’ll do what has to be done!” The Doomsday Clock, maintained by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ and Security Board, symbolizes how close the world is to a man-made disaster, namely nuclear war. The clock has been maintained since 1947 and this year it hit 2 minutes away from midnight. This is a time it has only reached one other year: 1953, which was the year the United States developed the Hydrogen bomb. Perhaps that is not a good sign.
Tweeting To War
Because North Korea has devoted themselves to brazenly developing nuclear weapons, it is one of the larger threats to the world. Needless to say, our current president has chosen to continuously mock the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, on Twitter. Trump consistently refers to Jung-un as “little rocket man” and Jong-un calls Trump “the dotard”, in kind. In January of 2018 Trump wrote on Twitter, “North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times. Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!” Yikes, even General H.R. McMaster, Trump’s national security adviser, has said that the possibility of going to war with North Korea was “increasing every day”. Let’s hope it won’t be because of a tweet.
Weiner Can’t Help Himself
One of the biggest head-in-hand moments for the Democratic party came with the shame of Anthony Weiner, who might’ve had a hand in taking down presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton. Weiner was caught not once, not twice, but three separate times “sexting” over social media. The first scandal came in 2011 when he was a Congressman and was caught sending a suggestive photo on Twitter. He later resigned. In 2013, he attempted to forge a comeback in the New York City mayoral race and was exposed again, having sexted multiple women. His last and worst incident came in September of 2016 after it was revealed that he had sexted with an underage girl.
A Democratic Disaster
When Anthony Weiner’s laptop was seized, and emails were found that were supposedly involved in the Hillary Clinton email controversy, thereby causing FBI director Comey to release an email regarding the manner. Weiner’s wife Huma Abedin has been one of Hillary Clinton’s top aids for many years which intensified the saga. She has also, like Hillary, remained committed to her husband despite his multiple transgressions. Some say that Comey later was a direct cause of Hillary losing the election. Weiner was charged with transferring obscene material to a minor and is currently serving time in prison. Huma finally filed for divorce.
John Bradford’s Racist Meme
Kansas State Representative John Bradford really went for a two-for-one when it came to using a racist meme on his official Facebook page. The meme apparently came from an extreme right conservative group that enjoys posting racist messages from time to time. The photo mocks both Obama and Mexicans in one fell swoop which is almost impressive in its braggadocio racist nature. Bradford had unsurprisingly been accused of racism before and was publicly criticized by many for his blatant post. He expressed regret for the post saying, “It was in bad taste and I regret it.”
Did Trump Junior Admit Collusion?
One of the most interesting political spectacles of modern time is undoubtedly the Russia Trump Collusion question, which now rests in the hands of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller. While many within the Trump campaign have remained mum on what exactly has gone on behind closed doors, one person who happens to be particularly close to the president keeps opening his mouth: son Donald Trump Jr. Although he claims to be doing so for the sake of transparency, his revelations have certainly only added another angle of wrongdoing to the entire Trump saga. One such instance came when Trump Jr. himself tweeted out a copy of his email regarding going to a meeting with Russian operatives under the guise of gaining damning information about Hillary Clinton. He and brother-in-law Jared Kushner were later questioned about the matter by Mueller.
Trump Tweets About The FBI
Not to be outdone by his previous reveal, Trump Jr. again revealed what seemed to be sensitive information, this time in father’s war on the FBI. Trump has long had it out for acting FBI director Andrew McCabe and obviously wasn’t too fond of the one before that – Comey. Needless to say, if the president fired McCabe it might be considered obstruction of justice which is what he is currently under investigation for by the Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller. The president has repeatedly tweeted about McCabe, for instance on December 23rd of 2017 he said: “FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!”.
Trump Junior Does It Again
Ultimately, it was announced that Andrew McCabe’s was departing his position early. Since his exit, the White House has publicly maintained that they had nothing to do with him stepping down from the position. The very idea would again suggest that the president was attempting to meddle in an ongoing FBI investigation of which he is the subject. However, this was called in to question when Trump Jr. again opened his mouth on Twitter. On February 1st of 2018, the younger Trump tweeted, “It was good enough to fire McCabe, no one argues its factually inaccurate, but now days later they want to protect the names of those involved in a scandal that was big enough to fire a senior official a month before retirement? They don’t deserve a pass on that!” So, which was it – is the White House telling the truth or is the president’s son?
Department Of Education Can’t Spell
The title of the Department of Education is pretty self-explanatory, and you would certainly expect the employees of the department to be able to spell. Unfortunately for them, in February of 2017, the department came under fire after they accidentally misspelled the name of the late great writer and civil rights activist, W.E.B. Du Bois. Not only that, but the unfortunate timing of the misspelling came during Black History Month. The quote in question, “Education must not simply teach work – it must teach life.” The NAACP had a particularly apt response tweeting out there on Du Bois quote which read, “In the Days of Loose & Careless Logic, We Must Teach Thinkers to THINK.” – William Edward Burghardt DU Bois”. The Department of Education later apologized for the “typo” and we are pretty sure they won’t make that mistake again!
Russia Fools American Facebook Users
In October of 2017, it was revealed to Congress that Russia was able to reach nearly 126 million users on Facebook. Additionally, they uploaded around 1,000 videos to YouTube and tweeted over 131,000 times on Twitter. It was already known that Russia meddled in the 2016 elections attempting to influence American voters through the use of social media. Facebook has stated that they identified at least $100,000 in advertisements paid for by the Internet Research Agency which is a Russian company with Kremlin ties. The general counsel for Facebook, Colin Stretch, stated that the posts were “an insidious attempt to drive people apart,” and also referred to them as “deeply disturbing.” The posts in question ranged from topics such as gun control to race. According to Stretch, Facebook is determined to prevent it from happening again.
Jim Carrey Fires Back
Many people blame Facebook for having a hand in allowing “fake news” that influences millions of people. One such person is comedian and actor Jim Carrey. In February of 2018, Jim announced in a tweet, “I’m dumping my @facebook stock and deleting my page because @facebook profited from Russian interference in our elections and they’re still not doing enough to stop it. I encourage all other investors who care about our future to do the same. #unfriendfacebook.” Jim later elaborated on his position to CNBC with a statement where he called for “activist investors”. The statement read, “We just encourage more oversight by the owners of these social media platforms. This easy access has to be more responsibly handled. What we need now are activist investors to send a message that responsible oversight is needed. What the world needs now is capitalism with a conscience.”
Trump’s Geography Lesson
In another selection from Trump’s Twitter Fails comes the time he implied Paris was located in Germany. The tweet in question read “Man shot inside Paris police station. Just announced that terror threat is at highest level. Germany is a total mess-big crime. GET SMART!” In January of 2018, a man barged into a police station in Paris with a knife, however, he was quickly subdued by an officer. Although the tweet was probably just poorly worded, it makes you wonder if our current United States president might need a repeat of high school geography.
State Rep Aide Bullies Obama’s Daughters
In 2014, Elizabeth Lauten, who worked as a communications aide to Tennessee Representative Stephen Lee Fincher, publicly bullied Obama’s daughters — then ages 13 and 16. Among many things she told the young girls was that they should “dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at the bar” and also accused the girls of “making faces”. Lauten was publicly criticized for going after children and her own past was used against her when it was revealed that she was arrested for shoplifting when she was 17. Needless to say, Lauten lost her job and issued an apology where she claimed she was the victim of “fake news”. She said, “When I first posted on Facebook I reacted to an article and I quickly judged the two young ladies in a way that I would never have wanted to be judged myself as a teenager.” Of course, this wasn’t the first time a president’s children would be bullied and it certainly wouldn’t be the last.
SNL Writer Goes After Barron
After Donald Trump’s inauguration in January of 2017, his youngest son Barron Trump attracted quite a bit of attention. The 10-year-old was captured on camera multiple times throughout the ceremony with many labeling his facial expressions from bored to unimpressed. Although he was likely just the victim of poor camera angles like the aforementioned Obama daughters, he immediately became the subject of many memes and jokes across the web. One person, SNL writer Katie Rich, took the jokes too far when she tweeted, “Barron will be this country’s first homeschool shooter.” Katie immediately received backlash and many on both sides of the political spectrum defended Barron, including Chelsea Clinton who is all too familiar with similar criticism from her days as First Daughter. Katie was subsequently suspended from writing for SNL and later apologized through a Tweet.
Paul Ryan’s Out-Of-Touch Tweet
When the Republican party passed a tax bill that has been widely criticized as profiting the rich, Paul Ryan really emphasized how out-of-touch he is with regular people with a singular tweet. He said, “A secretary at a public high school in Lancaster, PA, said she was pleasantly surprised that her pay went up $1.50 a week … she said [that] will more than cover her Costco membership for the year.” Zach Moller, senior policy analyst at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said if the tax cut gains were fairly distributed for all Americans, each person would instead see $446 more per year. “Pod Save America” host Jon Favreau also pointed out, “As a thank you for passing a $1 trillion corporate tax cut, Paul Ryan received $500,000 in campaign contributions from the Koch brothers, which would probably cover the cost of buying a Costco.” After being publicly admonished, Ryan deleted his original Tweet.
Trump’s Science Lesson
In December of 2017, Donald Trump tweeted, “In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!” His tweet was seemingly a rebuke to climate change science which has come under fire throughout his administration’s tenure. People were outraged, particularly because they felt that Trump didn’t understand the idea of global warming and rather believed that the term simply referred to a hot climate. Former Jersey Shore star Vinny Guadagnino stepped in with a tweet to the president attempting to explain. “I think climate change is more complex than global warming will make it hotter. It has to do with disruptions of atmospheric conditions, ocean patterns, jet streams and [redacted] like that.” It’s definitely an interesting time when a reality star teaches another former reality star, who is now the president, about global warming.