In the Motor City, some drivers need to learn to tweet right before ranting

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Maybe you've done it, or know someone who has: Get snarky or inappropriate about a boss/relative/colleague in an e-mail string, hit the "send" button, only to regret it in a flash because the reply was to "all."

Got that sinking feeling? That hollowness in the gut?

Today, I'm guessing someone who had access to Chrysler's Twitter account feels pretty much the same way. The person had a bad commute and dropped one jewel of an anti-Detroit tweet and some vulgarity on the Chrysler brand's 7,000-plus followers.

"I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to f***ing drive," the automaker tweeted today. Those asterisks are mine, not the tweeter's.

The tweet was quickly deleted and replaced with an apology. "Our account was compromised earlier today," Chrysler retweeted.

Too late.

The blogosphere seized the ironic moment -- suggesting it's the wrong type of profane message to share when you are trying to get back on your feet and convince Americans to buy what is "imported from Detroit."

Chrysler said the tweeter was an employee of New Media Strategies, the social media company that runs the account for Chrysler, and has been terminated. The person obviously confused a personal Twitter account with the Chrysler brand Twitter handle.

"We've set in place appropriate steps to ensure that this does not happen again," a Chrysler spokesperson said.

The snafu comes amid a rash of new research and published reports on the unintended consequences of rapid information distribution and overload.

Seems like even the experts can stumble in the quagmire that can be social media.

You can reach David Phillips at dphillips@crain.com.

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