Social Media Matters: Politician in hot water over Facebook joke

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, July 20, 2012
Metro section

Politician in hot water over Facebook joke

Alberta deputy premier Thomas Lukaszuk has apologized for making a joke on his Facebook page about fatal mudslides that recently occurred in British Columbia.

Thomas Lukaszuk
Thomas Lukaszuk

According to news website openfile.ca, the high-profile politician was seemingly unaware of the severity of the mudslides that killed four people when he posted, “Fairmont in Hot Springs has a good deal on rooms today. If a little bit of mud doesn’t bother you, book now!!!” Lukaszuk says he was out of the country at the time and didn’t realize that the incidents were so bad.

The “joke” has since been removed from his Facebook page and he apologized – ironically – via his Twitter account (@LukaszukMLA) on July 17: “Sorry for my FB post. I’m out of Canada and was not aware of the scope of the situation in BC. I removed the post.”

If the families and friends of the four people killed weren’t laughing, I doubt the 600 people stranded at the Fairmont were, either.

Lesson: politicians should never – ever – joke about anything “bad” happening publicly because they’re bound to deeply offend someone. And in today’s social media environment, the offending words can spread at the speed of light. Stick to politics and drop the comedy!

Twitter accounts you may want to follow

Rhonda Scharf
Rhonda Scharf

Rhonda Scharf (@RhondaScharf) is an Ottawa-based motivational speaker “specializing in administrative professionals and front line,” according to her Twitter profile. She describes her tweets as “filled with crazy facts and funny thoughts to get you thinking and smiling each day.”

This may initially sound like boasting, but trust me – she’s funny and thoughtful. I just found her account and have been reading through her tweets. Great stuff! Scharf has nearly 12,000 followers.

Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi Goldberg

The View co-host, comedian and Oscar-winning actress Whoopi Goldberg finally took the Twitter plunge recently and started her account at @WhoopiGoldberg. Initially, she was publicly hesitant about getting on Twitter, but even she couldn’t ignore the platform’s enormous reach. Despite only being on Twitter for a few weeks, she’s already amassed nearly 200,000 followers. This will only grow with time. Her tweets contain many inspirational messages focusing on self-respect. A pleasant and uplifting read.

Roseanne Barr
Roseanne Barr

Comedian and actress Roseanne Barr (@TheRealRoseanne) spends a lot of time on Twitter telling it like she sees it – and God help you if you get in an argument with her because she will win… right after she cuts you open and eats your beating heart. With about 125,000 followers, Barr’s tweets tend to be political in nature these days, as opposed to comedic.

Joan Rivers
Joan Rivers (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Colin Quinn Long Story Short)

Comedian Joan Rivers (@Joan_Rivers) tweets mostly jokes and updates about her various public appearances on television and casinos. Most of her jokes poke fun at celebrities, while others are self-deprecating, such as this one posted on July 9: “It’s summer and going to the beach brings back traumatic memories, like when my parents would bury me in the sand… feet up.” If you’re easily offended, she’s probably not the right Twitter account for you to follow because she’ll make jokes about “sad” events when others will let a bit of time to pass. Rivers has nearly 1.2 million followers.

This week’s featured YouTube channels

Every week, I feature three YouTube channels for you to check out. Have a favourite channel? Let me know about it and I may feature it here! Statistics are current to July 17.

1) CancerResearchSavesLives.ca (4 subscribers): This is the official YouTube channel of the Moncton-based Atlantic Cancer Research Institute (ACRI). Although the channel doesn’t have many subscribers, it does have a lot of inspirational content in the form of mostly testimonials and TV commercials. ACRI just recently released new commercials in English and French that are worth checking out, too. (Most popular video: Atlantic Cancer Research Institute – L’Institut atlantique de recherche sur le cancer – 288 views.)

2) Atlanticballettheatr (2 subscribers): This is the official YouTube channel of the Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada, a world-class dance company based in Moncton. Currently, the channel hosts a number of TV commercials in English and French for its productions. The company has toured throughout Canada, as well as in Europe and the United States. Most recently, it began another summer season of its own World of Shadows – PHANTOM, the Ballet.

Performances will be held throughout the summer at the Capitol Theatre on Tuesdays and Thursdays until Aug. 23. Visit the Capitol Theatre’s website at  for showtimes and ticket details. For more information on the Atlantic Ballet Theatre, visit their website, follow them on Twitter (@AtlanticBallet) or like them on Facebook. (Most popular video: Ghosts of Violence – 2012 Official TV Spot (Toronto) – 202 views.) (Editor’s note: The most popular video noted in the original column has been deleted. The Ghosts of Violence video is now the most popular.)

3) MysteryGuitarMan (2,062,400 subscribers): This is another one of those amazing music channels that I can’t believe I hadn’t found before now. The host of the channel produces music videos on a weekly basis that are unique, imaginative and, well, quite simply awesome. Keeping in character with his channel name, he wears sunglasses in all his videos. His 188 videos have been viewed a total of nearly 322 million times! Incredible! (Most popular video: Guitar: Impossible – stop motion music short – 14,488,931 views.)

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