Social Media Matters: Kansas governor gets embarrassed after Twitter post

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, Dec. 2, 2011
Metro section

Kansas governor gets embarrassed after Twitter post

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s office unwittingly made 18-year-old Emma Sullivan a national Twitter celebrity, garnering her more than 230 times the number of Twitter followers than she started with.

According to a PR Daily report written by Michael Sebastian on Nov. 28, Sullivan attended a speech given by Gov. Brownback at Shawnee Mission East High School in Topeka, Kansas, on the subject of youth in government. While listening to the governor, Sullivan fired off a tweet that read, “Just made mean comments at gov brownback and told him he sucked, in person #heblowsalot.”

Emma Sullivan
Emma Sullivan

Subsequently, the governor’s press secretary contacted Sullivan’s principal and asked him to get the teen to send an apology letter to the governor. The principal relayed the message to Sullivan and even suggested talking points for her to include.

This didn’t sit well with Sullivan’s sister, who contacted the media about the demand, which she considered an affront to free speech. Meanwhile, Sullivan maintains that she posted the tweet only as a joke.

Joke or not, the issue got national media attention in the U.S., and Sullivan went from 65 Twitter followers to about 15,000. The governor’s office subsequently apologized for “over-reacting”, with the governor throwing his staff under the bus in his statement.

“My staff over-reacted to this tweet, and for that I apologize. Freedom of speech is among our most treasured freedoms.”

Twitter’s newest “freedom fighter” then posted a message of victory on Nov. 26.

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” -Gandhi”.

On Nov. 29, however, with media attention not dying down, she posted a message aimed apparently at her high school classmates at Shawnee Mission East High School and Principal Krawitz, hoping the entire issue would calm down. “East! I just got off the phone w/ dr. k, he knows this was never aimed at him & this is out of control. Lets move on.”

That shows the potential power of one tweet, folks – even from “just” a high school student. Everything you post online has the power to make the news when the right – or wrong – people start talking about it!

Running a Facebook contest?

FacebookAre you thinking of organizing a Facebook contest for the people who like your page? Great! But make sure to read Facebook’s “Promotions Guidelines” document online before embarking on such a venture.

The document describes what you can and can’t do when running a contest on Facebook. Some of what you can’t do might surprise you.

According to the guidelines found here:

1) “You must not notify winners through Facebook, such as through Facebook messages, chat, or posts on profiles (timelines) or Pages”;

2) “You must not condition registration or entry upon the user taking any action using any Facebook features or functionality other than liking a Page, checking in to a Place, or connecting to your app. For example, you must not condition registration or entry upon the user liking a Wall post, or commenting or uploading a photo on a Wall.”

Be sure to check out the Promotions Guidelines page for other details, but I think it’s pretty safe to assume that not many people are following them closely.

Thanks to Dave Gallant ( for the heads up on this through a posting he made on Facebook.

This week’s featured YouTube channels:

Each week, I offer three suggested YouTube channels for you to check out. Today’s three choices run the gamut from music, to advertising to Christmas. What’s your favourite YouTube channel? Let me know via e-mail and I may feature it here. Subscription and view statistics are current as of Nov. 29.

Charlie Puth
Charlie Puth

1) Charlie Puth (217,613 subscribers): Charlie is 20 years old and a student at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He performs covers of popular songs along with some parodies either alone or with friends. Puth and his friends also perform a charming cover of Justin Bieber’s new hit Christmas song, Mistletoe. (Most popular video: “Adele – Someone Like You” – 4,808,466 views.)

2) VintageTVCommercials (3,908 subscribers): Despite not uploading a new video for nearly three years, this channel is chock full of great vintage television commercials from the 1950s through to the 1980s. And by “chock full”, I mean nearly 400 videos! Playlists include commercials from McDonald’s, toy commercials and cereal commercials. The highlight is an unrecognizable Ronald McDonald’s first appearance in an ad for the fast-food restaurant. Creepy! (Most popular video: “1970’s Worst Toy Ever Made Commercial # 1” – 549,926 views.)

3) Christmas Toon Fun Time (79 subscribers): I’m surprised this channel doesn’t have more subscribers! Here, you’ll find more than 60 holiday-related videos from television, the news, cartoons and live action shorts. There are some real gems here, including a Christmas episode of The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show. (Most popular video: “Santa’s Surprise” – 13,988 views.)

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