Reporter’s Twitter oops …

2015-02-05 00:00

A REPORTER thought she was sending her profane, blasphemous, all-caps tweet to her own 1 842 followers.

Instead, when a colleague tapped her on the shoulder at the Cape Town office of website News24 yesterday, Lauren Hess, who has worked there for seven years, knew she had made an awful mess.

She had made the comment “J**** C***** HOLY F**K” to her employer’s 1,01 million followers, retweeting a ­version of the picture of the Taiwan plane crash seen at right.

Her next tweet, to her own smaller crowd, was “OH GOD”, followed by a self-imposed Twitter silence.

“I’ve haven’t tweeted anything since,” she said yesterday afternoon.

But self-flagellation might not be all she has to suffer.

News24 swiftly reacted: “We sincerely apologise for the previous tweet and any offence its content may have caused. It was sent out erroneously.”

The tweet coincided with a survey that found 56% of respondents said fear of losing their jobs was the reason they were careful on social media. editor Andrew Trench said a thorough internal disciplinary ­process would follow.

Hess explained she was using the Tweetdeck app that allows a user to post to multiple Twitter feeds.

Trench’s advice was: “The lesson is that a journalist should not say anything on social media they wouldn’t say in front of their mother.”

He added it was encouraging that many followers were taking the ­incident with a sense of humour.

SA Twitter star Barry Bateman, who has about a quarter of a million followers, sent this out, retweeting another user: “lol RT @DavidDadic: Don’t think Riaan Cruywagen would approve but I really like @News24’s fresh approach to the news”.

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