You've probably heard that the easiest way to stay out of trouble is to apologize when you make a mistake. In the world of social media, that's doubly true. Twitter and Facebook screw-ups are no less harsh than the ones that happen out loud. Plus, savvy internet users can screencap anything, so even if you get rid of your foot-in-mouth moments, it's possible that they're living in perpetuity somewhere. Let this social media manager be a lesson in what not to do: The Daily Dot reports that after posting a headline that made light of a sexual assault, WPLG Local 10 News handled things very, very poorly.
WPLG shared a story on its Facebook page that reported on a man allegedly having sex with an incapacitated woman. However, the language that the social media team used seemed to make light of the situation.
Many thought that by posting the story without using the word "rape" or "sexual assault," WPLG was trying to soften the crime. Twitter users pointed this out to the station — and that should have been the end of the story. The station should have made the necessary changes to the story and apologized to its followers. Right? Nope. That didn't happen.
Instead of apologizing or thanking viewers for the suggestion, the station's social media manager turned the snark level up to 100 and straight-up mocked the woman who pointed the word choice out in the first place. It looks like someone missed their sensitivity training.
Even after a few suggestions, the Facebook post remained (and remains) unchanged. Eventually, the actual article did get updated, and the network let everyone know that the social media manager was facing some sort of discipline.
It just goes to show that sometimes, a simple apology can go a long way. And when you do stumble or make a gaffe, even if you're not a local news station, sometimes it's easier to swallow your pride than try and clap back.