Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Rick Warren Deletes Uncalled for Tweet - Right Move or Wrong Move?

The only reason I visited Pastor Rick's twitter page tonight was to see if he had responded to the barrage of complaints directed toward him from other twitter users. I was disappointed to find that he had not.

Yesterday, Rick Warren tweeted something he probably shouldn't have tweeted. In this fast-moving digital world, most of the damage has already been done. I mean, some of us had the foresight to grab a screenshot.

Rick deleted the tweet, so it's like it never happened at all right? To answer an age old question, when a tweet falls in a forest of 130,000 followers, it does make a sound. Twitter heard it and the bloggers heard it. Deleting it is not damage control; it might even make things worse. The best response is to have a humble spirit and set things right.

I had hoped to find a tweet that said something like this, "Please excuse the previous tweet. It was a momentary lapse in judgement. Please accept my humble apology." and maybe include a link to the offending tweet (or my blog post about it!) That simple tweet would have made a whole lot of people feel better, it shows the proper attitude, and it leaves 35 characters of space for people to retweet it to all of their followers too.

We did not see this kind of response. Instead we got a deleted tweet, which basically says "Offensive tweet? What offensive tweet?"

I think we can learn a lesson from this though. If you mess up in public, people will see it. They will remember it even if you try to cover it up. The best course of action is to take the position of humility, admit your mistake, and just move forward. I hope that we see something like this from Pastor Rick soon.

Are you satisfied with Rick Warren deleting his tweet? Have you ever posted something online you wished you could take back? How did you respond to it?


clayburkle said...

Thanks for 'splainin the Twittergate back story.

Gabe Smith said...

My pleasure! If anything else changes, I'll keep you posted!

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