Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ashton Kutcher Twitter FUBAR; 'quits' site after controversial 'Joe Paterno fired' Tweet

In the wake of news that longtime Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno was fired, Ashton Kutcher managed to stick his foot in it (and we don't mean anything good). Obviously not keeping up on recent events, Kutcher Tweeted the following to his over eight million followers: "How do you fire Jo Pa? #insult #noclass as a [Iowa] hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste."

What Kutcher wasn't aware of, until his Twitter account was blasted by negative Tweets from followers, was that Joe Paterno had been fired for his actions, or rather, inaction, in the case of former Penn State assistant Jerry Sandusky, who on November 4, 2011, was indicted on 40 counts of sex crimes against young boys. One specific incident, involving a 10-year-old boy and Sandusky in a campus shower, witnessed by a graduate assistant with details later relayed to Paterno, brought the winningest coach in Division One football down.

After discovering his mistaked, Kutcher Tweeted again, saying "Heard Joe was fired, fully recant previous tweet!. Didn’t have full story. #admitwhenYoumakemistakes.”

However the rants against Kutcher didn't stop. So he went back to Twitter, and Tweeted “As an advocate in the fight against child sexual exploitation, I could not be more remorseful for all involved in the Penn St. case." Kutcher and his wife, Demi Moore, established the Demi and Ashton Foundation (DNA Foundation) to help end child sex slavery.

As a result of the FUBAR, he also decided to take a break from Twitter. He Tweeted two more things: "As of immediately I will stop tweeting until I find a way to properly manage this feed. I feel awful about this error. Won't happen again." and "Twitter Management"

Those are apparently the last two Tweets until his Twitter Management takes effect.

The link in his final Tweet links to a blog post, where he explained what happened:

"Last night after returning home from work, I walked by the television and simply saw a headline that Joe Paterno had been fired. Having no more information than that, I assumed that he had been fired due to poor performance as an aging coach. As a football fan and someone who had watched Joe's career move from that of legend/innovator to a head coach that fulfilled his duty in the booth, I assumed that the university had let him go due to football related issues. With that assumption (how dare I assume) I posted a tweet defending his career."

So, he's now going to turn the management of his Twitter feed over to his team at Katalyst. He still said he's going to Tweet, though, so it sounds like whatever he Tweets will be "verified" by Katalyst before hitting the Internet.

It was, in fact, just a mistake, and not the first time someone high profile has "Tweeted out of turn."  It can serve as a cautionary tale, and not just for celebrities, either.

His final thoughts in his blog post? "My sincere apologies to anyone who I offended. It was a mistake that will not happen again."

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