With its ability for users to share breaking news as it happens, Twitter has become the “go-to” source for breaking news and information whenever a big story happens around the world.
Tonight, as I write this post, that big story is about the strongest hurricane in recorded history, Hurricane Patricia, whose 200 MPH winds are devastating parts of Mexico.
Like everything in life, your Twitter feed is likely full of both good and bad. Tonight my Twitter feed is chock-full of bad. Videos of Hurricane Patricia’s horrendous winds bearing down on the Mexican coast, terrifying photos of an immense waterspout, photos of flooded streets, and heart-breaking photos of dogs caught in the resulting floods. You can be sure this is just a small taste of the horror the residents of this area of Mexico are experiencing tonight.
As if my Twitter feed couldn’t be worse, my eye caught the following tweet from Everett A. Stern, United States Senate Candidate (thanks to a retweet):
Note Everett’s first tweet at the bottom of the snip. That is the controversial tweet that resulted in an ongoing “back and forth” between Everett and his followers…who are most likely former followers now.
Everett did not stop with the topic of Hurricane Patricia:
— Everett A. Stern (@SternEverett) October 24, 2015
(***Edit – this tweet has since been removed***)
I’m not going to debate whether or not Everett’s comments have any merit, however, Everett is likely a well-educated man, and obviously knows a thing or two about the HSBC, since he is a self-proclaimed “HSBC Whistleblower”. Someone with his “intelligence” should know better than to tweet the types of comments he did, with such sweeping generalizations. No matter how you feel about Mexican drug cartels, or any other world issues, this is NOT the time to air personal views like this.
Here’s another example of someone who would be better off NOT to tweet as a major natural disaster is developing:
— Donna Brazile (@donnabrazile) October 24, 2015
Is it just me, or does Donna’s tweet make Hurricane Patricia sound like a light, fluffy dessert?
I’m certain Donna did not mean for her tweet to come across in that way, but it sure did to me.
A tweet by a young woman in Texas passed through my feed. She was at the airport awaiting a flight and was so incensed at having her flight delayed by Hurricane Patricia, that she just had to tweet about it. The only thing that tweet did was to serve as an example of how spoiled and entitled this woman appears to be. Maybe she isn’t, but that is not what I took away from her tweet. I wish I could share it with you but, I didn’t print screen this one, and now she has deleted the tweet. Looks like one of her followers must have alerted her to how ridiculous she sounded.
The insensitivity didn’t stop there. I saw numerous people using the hashtag to promote their businesses. Businesses that have absolutely nothing to do with helping victims of the hurricane in any way, shape, or form. Now is NOT the time to promote your business on the back of a hashtag referring to a natural disaster!
I will give Everett credit for sticking to his principles. At least he did not delete what he had already tweeted after he started receiving flak for his comments. At least not by the time this post goes live.
Maybe once his campaign manager reads everything, those tweets will disappear too. (***Edit: a delete did occur)
What do you think? Do YOU stop and think before you tweet, especially during times of natural disasters and national tragedies?