News Editor Trolls Ghostbusters Actress; Banned from Twitter

Did you know that you could get banned from Twitter for life? I didn’t!

I think the only winner here is the Columbia Pictures, which distributes the movie.

Twitter gave Yiannopoulos the boot on Tuesday following critical comments he made to actress Leslie Jones, one of the stars of the new “Ghostbusters” movie. He has been critical of the Sony release — which is a female-centric remake of the 1984 comedy — and was one of many who sent Jones, who is a black woman, negative tweets.

Yiannopoulos, who hails from Britain and is openly gay, had amassed a Twitter audience of close to 338,000 followers. Attempts to access his feed on Tuesday resulted in an “error” message: “The account you are trying to view has been suspended.”

A Twitter screenshot of the suspension notice published by Breitbart informs Yiannopoulos that he was banned “for repeated violations of the Twitter Rules, specifically our rules prohibiting participating in or inciting targeted abuse of individuals.”

Read the full story at the Los Angeles Times here.

Do you like this blog? Become a fan on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter@SocMediaGaffes! Follow Nicholas on Twitter @nicholas_cheong.

Miss Seattle Whines About Weather and “Annoying People,” Criticized

(Original story at ABC News here.)

Apparently, Miss Seattle didn’t learn the lesson from Oprah Winfrey’s tweet. Better stick to sharing links rather than feelings on Twitter!

Mar 7, 2012 12:54pm

Miss Seattle Insists She Doesn’t Hate Seattle After Twitter Rant

The new Miss Seattle has had her crown for less than a week and is already apologizing for a Twitter rant about Seattle’s incessant rain and says she didn’t mean it when she carped about the city’s “annoying people.”

Jean-Sun Hannah Ahn was crowned Miss Seattle 2012 on Saturday night and since then tweets that the 22-year-old posted criticizing the city’s rain and its residents were unearthed by a local reporter, sparking outcry online.

In December Ahn tweeted: “Ew, I’m seriously hating Seattle right now.” She went on: “Take me back to az! Ugh can’t stand cold rainy Seattle and the annoying people.”

Ahn apologized for the tweets and explained to the local radio station that she had just moved from Phoenix back to Seattle and was still acclimating to the weather.

“I think I was just kind of in that down mode and it was a period…it was a culture shock to be back in Seattle,” Ahn, a Seattle native, told KIRO-FM.

“I apologize for the negative connotations towards the city of Seattle and its people or any other postings when I wasn’t in a positive place. Those tweets by no means reflect my actual opinions or views, I was simply having ‘one of those days’ and sincerely apologize to anyone who took those statements offensively.”

Ahn, also a former Miss Phoenix, posted the controversial tweets from her old account @MissPhoenix 2010 on Dec. 10, 2011. Since her win, she has taken down the tweets and changed her account to @MissSeattle2012.

Miss Seattle is far from the first who has gotten in hot water for venting about her lives on Twitter. But Ahn, who will compete in the Miss Washington pageant this summer, has learned a valuable lesson of the Twittersphere.

“I will vent to someone that I will call my friends or text them if I’m feeling down or want to complain about something,” she said.

Do you like this blog? Become a fan on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter@SocMediaGaffes! Follow Nicholas on Twitter @nicholas_cheong.

Oprah Attempts to Influence Viewer Ratings; Chastised

(Original story at the New York Times here.)

Ms. Winfrey was probably joking, but her joke was taken seriously by the executives at Nielsen. That is how seriously people in the corporate world take Twitter.  So it’s official, celebrities: You can’t say something inappropriate on Twitter and then apologize for making a bad joke. You have been warned.

Nielsen Chastises Oprah Over a Twitter Plea

By 
Published: February 13, 2012

OPRAH WINFREY routinely reminds her nearly nine million followers on Twitter to tune into her one-year-old channel, OWN, and chats along with viewers on premiere nights. Those informal messages create a direct connection between one of the most famous women in the world and her fans.

But on Sunday night, when she used that powerful online megaphone to make what seemed to be a simple plea, Ms. Winfrey broke a rule that the Nielsen ratings company rarely has to enforce. “Every 1 who can please turn to OWN especially if u have a Neilsen box,” she wrote on Twitter just as a new episode of her interview show, “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” began.

What seemed to most Twitter users to be a simple, if misspelled and desperate-sounding, call to watch a struggling channel was seen by Nielsen as a potentially serious violation of its policy. Nielsen measures the television viewership of a sample of roughly 25,000 households across the United States, and it works hard to ensure that the sample is not coerced to watch specific shows or channels.

After officials at OWN and Nielsen corresponded on Monday morning, Ms. Winfrey removed the Twitter post at the ratings company’s request. “I intended no harm and apologize for the reference,” she said in a statement.

In Nielsen’s ratings system, an asterisk will be attached to OWN’s ratings at the time of day Ms. Winfrey’s message was sent, noting a “possible biasing effect,” a Nielsen spokesman said.

“It is Nielsen’s policy to note attempts to single out panel members to either change their viewing habits or otherwise influence or affect their reporting,” the spokesman, Matt Anchin, said later in an e-mail.

Such attempts are rare, but are taken seriously by Nielsen, since its ratings are used to set advertising rates and determine the success or failure of shows.

Television hosts, executives and channel owners — for OWN, Ms. Winfrey is all three — may privately doubt the veracity of the daily ratings, but the TV industry collectively agrees to let them be the currency for buying and selling. So any hint of tampering with the Nielsen household sample sets off alarms.

In 1999, when a sports anchor in Baltimore told viewers, “We need you tonight, especially our special viewers, and you know who you are, with that little box on the back of your set,” referring to Nielsen’s measurement box, Nielsen admonished the station. “Not too proud to beg,” The Baltimore Sun said of the case.

Last November, the NBC late-night comedian Jimmy Fallon declared that he wanted to “Occupy Nielsen.” He told viewers, “This Friday, I want everyone who knows someone who’s in a Nielsen family to call ’em up” and tell them to turn on his show.

“You don’t even have to watch the show, you just have to put it on,” he said.

That Friday, Nielsen excluded Mr. Fallon’s show from its averages altogether, a much more severe punishment than the one presented to OWN on Monday. That’s because Mr. Fallon’s request was more specific than Ms. Winfrey’s.

On Sunday, Ms. Winfrey’s unusually blunt request and the misspelling of the Nielsen name caused some Twitter users to doubt that Ms. Winfrey was the one actually doing the typing. But she was, according to her executive producer, Sheri Salata, who was in the same room at the time.

They were together at a hotel in suburban Atlanta that did not carry OWN. The fact that it is difficult for some viewers to find highlights one of the channel’s problems. The two were watching the Grammys like tens of millions of others.

Five minutes after the post about Nielsen, when the Grammy Awards ran a commercial, Ms. Winfrey wrote, “Grammy people..u can turn to OWN.”

Some replied to Ms. Winfrey to thank her for the reminder, but others criticized the tone of her two please-tune-in messages. Ms. Winfrey replied to one of the people who labeled her message “desperate” by saying, “ ‘desperate’ not ever a part of my vocab.”

The last year has been a hard slog for Ms. Winfrey, who created her cable channel in a joint venture with Discovery Communications by converting the Discovery Health Channel into OWN in January 2011. Although she cautioned from the start that OWN would need years of nurturing, its early ratings have been disappointing to people involved in the venture.

Nearly a dozen advertisers made big multiyear commitments in advance of the channel’s debut, and to them — as to investors and reporters — Discovery and Ms. Winfrey have emphasized patience. At an investment conference in December, David Zaslav, the chief executive of Discovery, said of advertisers, “They’re excited about the mission.” Discovery will report its quarterly earnings on Thursday.

Lately, Ms. Winfrey has increased her presence on the channel, and there is a belief inside OWN that “Oprah’s Next Chapter” is becoming a centerpiece — which explains why she would seek to steer her Twitter followers to it on Sunday night.

Since the interview show began in early January, it has drawn almost 900,000 viewers on average, significantly more than most other prime-time shows on the channel. The viewership figures for Sunday’s episode, the one that will come with an asterisk, were not available as of Monday evening.

Do you like this blog? Become a fan on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter@SocMediaGaffes! Follow Nicholas on Twitter @nicholas_cheong.