Politics + Twitter = trouble

2011-08-26 14:31

It takes only 140 characters to cause a scandal, Twitter has taught several politicians, including our very own Malusi Gigaba.

Here’s a selection of recent political “blapse” on the micro-blogging site:

» Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba made an insensitive comment about the Cape Town slutwalk – a march to highlight sexual assault on women.

Gigaba tweeted on Saturday: “@Derek_Hanekom No, let’s talk about the slutwalk. Now, I wanna attend as an observer. Might get lucky.”

He was immediately taken to task by other users.

Sam Wilson, the editor of Women24 wrote: “Unacceptable, Minister. Shame on you.”

Gigaba apologised and withdrew his comment:

“And I retract it genuinely. No harm was meant ...” he tweeted.

» President Jacob Zuma came under fire in July this year after promoting the sitcom It’s for Life, which stars his daughters Gugu and Nokuthula Zuma.

Zuma tweeted: “I encourage you all to tune into channel 107 tonight on DStv at 7pm for a new sitcom ‘it’s for life’ it promises to be great #itsforlife.”
Zuma did not apologise.

» In November, ANC Youth League president Julius Malema threatened to shut down Twitter after realising that several people had created fake accounts using his name.

“We will look at ways of stopping this ... Even if it means going to the police,” the league’s spokesperson Floyd Shivambu said.

» Earlier this year, US congressman Anthony Weiner posted a picture of his bulging underwear. At first, Weiner claimed it was a hacker, but later came clean and admitted that it was him. He was forced to resign from his position.

» Another former US congressman, Pete Hoekstra, was part of congressional trip to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Participants were told not to reveal their movements for security reasons but Hoekstra must not have read or understood the message. He continued to tweet messages such as: “Just landed in Baghdad”.

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