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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Be Careful What You Tweet

Too often, people tweet before they think, and the results can harm them and their bosses. The Seattle Times reports (h/t HB):
Gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna said Monday that a campaign staffer's months-old tweets appearing to mock Asians and the elderly were "insensitive and wrong."
The tweets, sent by Kathlyn Ehl before she joined the McKenna campaign in April, gained attention after The Stranger published them. They were quickly deleted from her Twitter page but remained accessible on archived Web pages.
One tweet, sent in January, read, "shut up and speak english #asians." The other, from November, said, "If it takes you an entire green light to walk in front of my car GET A WHEELCHAIR #toooldtowalk."
"The tweets sent by a member of my campaign staff, Kathlyn Ehl, were offensive and inappropriate," McKenna, a Republican and the state attorney general, said in a statement released Monday. "They were insensitive and wrong, regardless of the context."
UPDATE -- The Seattle Times reports that the staffer has resigned:
In a statement released late Wednesday morning, McKenna campaign manager Randy Pepple expressed regret at how the incident ended.

“As the father of two young women, it pains me to accept the resignation of a young woman for a mistake which occurred before she had even begun her career,” he said. “However, as we have said, and Kathlyn readily acknowledges, her tweets were offensive and insensitive. Kathlyn suggested, and I agreed after consultation with some of our campaign’s grassroots leaders, that her ongoing involvement on the campaign would be a constant reminder of her lapse in judgment.

“Life teaches us difficult lessons, and sometimes at a very young age,” he added. “My hope is that she will find some benefit from having learned this lesson now, as it will undoubtedly be a long-lasting one.”
As mentioned before, "deleting" a tweet does not mean that it vanishes without a trace.  Politwoops features "deleted" tweets.