Cue the green slime—it’s time for another episode of You Can’t Do That on Twitter. Here’s the tweet that’s been burning up the Internet this morning:
Yes, that’s pretty bad. And the fact that it’s an obscure joke (William Lynch was a fictitious slaveowner who supposedly made a famous speech about better “managing” slaves by turning them against each other) almost makes it worse. The AJC quickly took it down and issued an apology—and we assume someone is going to be out of a job by the end of the day.
The AJC apologizes for & deeply regrets the tweet that was posted earlier today. We are working to address this situation internally.
— AJC (@ajc) October 23, 2013
It’s kind of a shame that slip-ups like this one get so much attention. On the other hand, it was a shocking failure of social media management that will rightfully end up in many future “worst of” listicles.
From a strategic perspective, it’s one thing to be loose and “conversational” and lightly funny on Twitter. It’s quite another thing to make a joke that any manager with half a brain would immediately shoot down. The key is finding a midpoint between dry and snarky that’s as far away from this sort of comment as possible.