Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised at these kinds of stories anymore, but for some reason they still get to me: Yet another high profile person has been burned by things they themselves put out there for the world to see on Twitter.
The Daily Mail reports that a senior official in charge of lobbyist reform in the UK has stepped down from her position after a string of abusive and inappropriate tweets.
Eirian Walsh Atkins tweeted that she hoped a campaign for constitutional reform, Unlock Democracy “would die” and that she was “prepared to help it along.”
She also tweeted a series of posts berating “bloody rude Americans” and “moronic tourists”.
Not the smartest things for anyone to tweet, but especially dumbfounding coming from a public official.
Unlock Democracy had apparently claimed that Atkins had developed a “cozy relationship with the lobbying industry” – even though her job description as an official in charge of lobbyist reform required her to do the opposite.
It was these claims that provoked her outburst on Twitter, and eventually forced her resignation. Her Twitter account has since been closed, so we could not get access to the original tweets.
Twitter is a very public medium, and people like Atkins demonstrate just how ignorant some of our leaders and representatives really can be about what to share and what not to share on social media.
Atkins now joins the dubiously honored group of public officials who have been burned by their own lack of understanding of Twitter. Taking the crown among these “winners” is, of course, the jaw-dropping case of Anthony Weiner displaying his genitalia to the entire Twitter-verse. But there’s also the story of the Canadian envoy to Pakistan’s racist retweet getting her fired, and France’s Industry Minister tweeting some embarrassing (but pretty tame) things to his wife that should have been sent via DM.