While the headlines in 2015 have been dominated by Jeremy Corbyn’s rise from the backbench, the Piggate scandal that will forever be seared into our minds and Justin Bieber's renaissance, other headlines have been made on the basis of just a single tweet.
From ‘sadness in his eyes’ gaffes to cringe-worthy feuds, the following examples demonstrate how social media can become a PR’s worst nightmare.
The year got off to a bang when a US ESPN sports presenter unintentionally shared a link to a very, very different one to the one he had intended to share.
In an attempt to tweet a sporting update to his 15,000 followers, Hamilton tweeted a link to a porn video.
Don't worry ESPN analyst Gerry Hamilton, we tweet incorrect links from our other browser tabs too. (just not porn) pic.twitter.com/T8Y2CkPkZC— So That Happened... (@WTFark) January 22, 2015
Twitter erupted and even Pornhub gave Hamilton a ribbing by asking if he wanted to switch jobs for a day.
Hamilton immediately took the tweet down and re-posted it - this time with the correct link.
A Twitter list of this variety would be incomplete without at least one offering from West, the rapper who has continued his quest for world domination one bizarre quote at a time.
West became the ultimate embarrassing Dad when he embarked on a Twitter rant about his daughter, North, buying ‘in app purchases’ while playing games on his iPad.
Echoing the calls of parents of toddlers in the digital age everywhere, West pleaded for tech companies "give us a break for Christ sake!".
That makes no sense!!! We give the iPad to our child and every 5 minutes there's a new purchase!!!— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) October 10, 2015
If a game is made for a 2 year old, just allow them to have fun and give the parents a break for Christ sake.— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) October 10, 2015
In an unsuccessful effort to be current and cool, the National Police Air Service shared a police helicopter image of comedian Michael McIntyre in July.
But after asking followers to guess which “energetic funny man” they had found with surveillance, they were faced a backlash amid concerns over McIntyre’s right to privacy.
@NPASLondon Wow. That's kinda creepy— Peter Main (@PeterDJMain) July 15, 2015
A simple “error” on Twitter in June led to the entire BBC Language workforce embarking on a social media refresher course, a rare intervention from Buckingham Palace and international news sites reporting the death of the British monarch.
Why? Because BBC Urdu journalist Ahmen Khawaja told 8,000 followers the Queen had died. The tweet was accidentally sent during a regular rehearsal by the BBC for royal deaths and swiftly deleted. But it was too late, and a few news sites ran with headlines proclaiming the Queen's 'death'.
The embarrassing ordeal concluded with the journalist’s tweet and subsequent retraction being branded a “serious breach of editorial guidelines” by a BBC investigation.
People news in pictures
People news in pictures
1/30 28 June 2016
United Kingdom Independence Party leader Nigel Farage reacting as he meets with European Union Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker ahead of a plenary session at the EU headquarters in Brussels. Mr Juncker, the President of the European Commission, turned on Ukip MEP Paul Nuttall who clapped after he pledged to respect Britain’s wishes. “That’s the last time you are applauding here,” he said, to enthusiastic applause from MEPs. “And to some extent, I’m really surprised that you are here. You were fighting for the exit, the British people voted in favour of the exit, so why are you here?”
2/30 28 June 2016
David Cameron is welcomed by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker prior to a meeting in Brussels
3/30 27 June 2016
President of the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) and Prime Minister Hun Sen (R) and CPP Honorary President and President of the National Assembly Heng Samrin (L) release doves during a ceremony at the party headquarters to mark the 65th anniversary of the establishment of the party in Phnom Penh
4/30 27 June 2016
British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne makes a statement at the Treasury in London, folowing the pro-Brexit outcome of the EU referendum
5/30 26 June 2016
The Dalai Lama greets Lady Gaga, right, before a question and answer session at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Indianapolis
6/30 26 June 2016
Pope Francis and Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II Armenia release white doves in front of Mount Ararat after a ceremony at the Khor Virap monastery
7/30 25 June 2016
Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during a welcoming ceremony in Beijing, China
8/30 24 June 2016
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks outside 10 Downing Street on 24 June 2016. Cameron announced his resignation after Britain voted to leave the European Union after a bitterly divisive referendum campaign
9/30 23 June 2016
The Dalai Lama makes a face after he accidentally turned his microphone device too loud during the morning session in the Coors Event Center at the University of Colorado- Boulder
10/30 23 June 2016
British Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha Cameron leave after voting in the EU Referendum at Central Methodist Hall, Westminster in London
11/30 23 June 2016
Myanmar Foreign Minister and State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi speaks during a meeting with migrant workers at the coastal fishery centre of Samut Sakhon, outside Bangkok, Thailand
12/30 22 June 2016
Actress Helen Mirren sits next to Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat as he presents her the Jerusalem of Gold Award for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities, in Jerusalem. Mirren is in Israel to host the 2016 Genesis Awards which will be presented to Israeli-American violinist Itzhak Perlman for this professional excellence and contribution to the Jewish community and Israel
13/30 21 June 2016
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro holds a whip during a rally with supporters of African descent at Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela
14/30 20 June 2016
Chelsea Clinton holds her newborn son Aidan Clinton Mezvinsky with her husband Marc Mezvinsky, as U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton pose together as they exit Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City
15/30 20 June 2016
Secretary of State John Kerry meets United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Special Envoy Angelina Jolie Pitt at the Department of State in Washington. Pitt called for action on World Refugee Day
16/30 20 June 2016
Rome's newly elected mayor Virginia Raggi, of 5-Star Movement, gestures during a news conference in Rome, Italy
17/30 20 June 2016
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (C) walks alongside Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn as they leave the Houses of Parliament for a service of remembrance after a special session to honour murdered lawmaker Jo Cox, in London
18/30 19 June 2016
British designer Vivienne Westwood appears on the catwalk at the end of the Spring/Summer 2017 Men's Collection of British fashion label Vivienne Westwood during the Milan Men's Fashion Week
19/30 18 June 2016
The International Space Station (ISS) crew members Timothy Peake of Britain, Yuri Malenchenko of Russia and Timothy Kopra of the U.S., surrounded by ground personnel, rest shortly after landing near the town of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan
20/30 18 June 2016
Actor Brad Pitt arrives to start the 84th 24-hour Le Mans endurance race in Le Mans, western France
21/30 17 June 2016
Labour MP's (L-R) Lucy Powell, Paula Sheriff, Jeff Smith, and former Labour Party councillor Karen Rowling, react as they view tributes near the scene of the murder of Labour Member of Parliament Jo Cox in Birstal
22/30 17 June 2016
Chinese President Xi Jinping, center left, and his Serbian counterpart, Tomislav Nikolic, center right, pass by Serbian army Honor Guards upon Xi's arrival to Belgrade, Serbia. Xi arrived in Serbia for a visit meant to boost relations with the friendly nation and assert China's intention to increase its presence in the Balkans and Europe
23/30 16 June 2016
Pope Francis caresses a young tiger during a meeting with the participants in the Jubilee of the World of Travelling Shows at Paul VI audience hall in Vatican
24/30 15 June 2016
Oscar Pistorius walks across the courtroom without his prosthetic legs during the third day of the resentencing hearing for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius's defence sought to demonstrate how the athlete would 'not be able to defend himself' without his prosthetic legs
25/30 15 June 2016
A boat carrying supporters for a ' remain' vote in the EU referendum including Irish singer Bob Geldof (C) shout and wave at fishing boats supporting a 'leave' vote as they sail on the river Thames in central London
26/30 14 June 2016
Alison McGovern MP looks on as Yvette Cooper MP gives a helping hand to her husband and former shadow chancellor Ed Balls, as he gets up from a story time session, during a Vote Remain canvassing visit to Shadsworth Children's Centre in Blackburn
27/30 13 June 2016
Singer Lady Gaga tries not to cry while reading some of the names of the dead at a vigil for the worst mass shooing in United States history, in Los Angeles
28/30 13 June 2016
South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius is surrounded by policemen as he arrives at Pretoria High Court to attend a sentencing hearing set to send him back to jail for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp three years ago
29/30 12 June 2016
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about the worst mass shooting in U.S. history that took place in Orlando, at the White House in Washington
30/30 12 June 2016
German Chancellor Angela Merkel receives a honorary doctorate degree from Nanjing University's president Chen Jun at University of Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, China
The reality TV star almost faced the wrath of an entire country after an Argentian entertainment site misinterpreted a tweet about the Pope.
During his highly successful trip to the US in September, the outlet speculated that Kardashian-West calling the pope ‘dope’ was a negative insult and warned she could be an “enemy” of the Catholic church leader.
The pope is dope— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) September 24, 2015
The former Tory MP’s Twitter campaign to dissuade Labour voters from electing Corbyn as leader of the party came to a mortifying halt after a faux pas.
In an attempt to prove the anti-Semitism of Corbyn supporters, Mensch shared the apparent ‘automated search results’ next to Liz Kendall’s name.
Yet despite having posted 120,000 tweets in six years (that’s an average of 54 per day) it became clear Mensch still hadn’t quite grasped Twitter.
The ‘x’ next to the search term actually reveals the user’s past search history, not the general Twittersphere’s – meaning, yes, Mensch had searched those terms herself.
Luckily, John Prescott, the former Deputy Prime Minister, was on hand to highlight the Twitter fail.
So here's my autocomplete on Louise Mensch pic.twitter.com/GJWQQX8Vzw— John Prescott (@johnprescott) August 21, 2015
Taylor Swift v. Nicki Minaj
The spat that reminded the world Taylor Swift isn’t always right arrived in 2015, when Swift was forced to apologise to Nicki Minaj for firing back at a tweet she believed was aimed at her.
I thought I was being called out. I missed the point, I misunderstood, then misspoke. I'm sorry, Nicki. @NICKIMINAJ— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) July 23, 2015
Minaj was upset that her videos for Anaconda and Feelin' Myself weren’t nominated for VMA Video of the Year and said if she were a “different kind of artist” it would have been nominated.
Swift, who’s video for Bad Blood went on to win the gong, read this as a reference to her and hit back:
@NICKIMINAJ I've done nothing but love & support you. It's unlike you to pit women against each other. Maybe one of the men took your slot..— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) July 21, 2015
A mere two days later, in a rare public apology, Swift said sorry. The two resolved their issues and the important discussion about race in the music industry that Minaj had tried to highlight was opened up.
After quitting One Direction, which resulted in a large number of the British workforce taking sick days, Malik began the quest to find his own identity – which apparently involves online arguments with DJs.
Following a re-tweet by Malik, which Harris believed to be a dig at his girlfriend Taylor Swift, Harris told him to “stay out of things you don’t understand”.
This didn't go down well with Malik who used the most natural put-down anyone would give to a 31-year-old man: “Calm your knickers before them dentures fall out”.
@CalvinHarris so i suggest you calm your knickers before them dentures fall out— zayn (@zaynmalik) August 17, 2015
This particular incident followed after another spat with bandmate Louis Tomlinson, breaking the hearts of Directioners everywhere.
@Louis_Tomlinson remember when you had a life and stopped making bitchy comments about mine ?— zayn (@zaynmalik) May 6, 2015
Never fear, Louis has since told the Late Late Show with James Corden the squabble had been "resolved".
Sky News journalist Kay Burley headed to Paris following the terror attacks on in November.
While reporting on the sombre mood in the French capital, Burley believed a Golden Retriever summed up the situation perfectly and captioned “the sadness in his eyes”.
Unfortunately, the internet had other ideas, resulting in numerous memes and photos from followers sharing the sadness in their dog’s, cat’s and potato’s eyes.
Brilliantly, Burley managed to laugh at the incident and used it to aptly sum up Peter Andre’s departure from Strictly.
Recently, the Arsenal player turned Tory activist received online backlash after publicly criticising a waiter for his “terrible service”.
@SolManOfficial Liam here. Think we got off on the wrong foot. Would love to make amends. Hopefully see you soon— Cambridge St Cafe (@CambridgeStCafe) November 25, 2015
All credit to poor Liam, who found his identity broadcast to Campbell’s 71,000 followers, he replied apologising for “getting off on the wrong foot”.
However, Twitter was not as forgiving as Liam and branded Campbell a “grass” and criticised him for “trying to lose someone a job a month before Christmas”.
sol campbell having a bitch about service in a cafe... couldn't he sort it out there and then instead trying to get bloke done on twitter— Scott J (@TheRealPundit) November 26, 2015
Ok, so, the infamous post which resulted in an annual day in the tweet’s honour didn’t happen in 2015…. but we will take any opportunity to remind people of the time Ed Balls tweeted: “Ed Balls”.
Ed Balls— Ed Balls (@edballs) April 28, 2011