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 26 September 2016
French President Francois Hollande meets with officers of the French Gendarmerie during a visit to the Gendarmerie of Calais. Hollande said on a visit to the port of Calais that the sprawling "Jungle" migrant camp there would be "completely dismantled"
2/30 26 September 2016
Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev casts his vote during a referendum on extending presidential terms in Baku, Azerbaijan
3/30 25 September 2016
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales meets mounted police officers and their horses after the the National Police Memorial Service at St Paul's Cathedral in London
4/30 24 September 2016
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, center, kneels to talk to Prince George as his father, Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge, speaks with Governor General David Johnston, right, and Kate, The Duchess of Cambridge, holds their daughter Princess Charlotte upon arrival in Victoria, British Columbia
5/30 24 September 2016
US actor Richard Gere and his girlfriend Spanish publicist Alejandra Silva, pose during a photocall after the screening the film "Time out of mind" at the 64th San Sebastian Film Festival, in the northern Spanish Basque city of San Sebastian
6/30 24 September 2016
(L-R) Former US First Lady Laura Bush, former US President George W. Bush, First Lady Michelle Obama, and President Barack Obama attend the opening ceremony for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington
7/30 24 September 2016
British opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn (C) waves following his speech after being announced as the winner of the party's leadership contest at the Labour Party Leadership Conference in Liverpool
8/30 23 September 2016
A statue of the movie boxer Rocky stands near the stage entrance as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a rally with supporters in Aston, Pennsylvania
9/30 22 September 2016
Priscilla Chan embraces her husband Mark Zuckerberg while announcing the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to "cure, prevent or manage all disease" by the end of the century during a news conference at UCSF Mission Bay in San Francisco
10/30 21 September 2016
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson reads before a meeting of the United Nations Security Council during the 71st session of the U.N. General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York
11/30 20 September 2016
Britain's Prince William sits in the cockpit of his East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) H145 helicopter, in London
12/30 19 September 2016
Model Cara Delevingne poses for photographers upon arrival at the Burberry Spring/Summer 2017 fashion show at London Fashion Week
13/30 19 September 2016
Cuba's former leader Fidel Castro, right, shakes hands with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, center, in Havana. Rouhani is on a one-day official visit to Cuba
14/30 18 September 2016
French far-right Front National (FN) party's President, Marine Le Pen, gestures as she delivers a speech on stage during the FN's summer congress in Frejus, southern France. Marine Le Pen's slogan reading "In the name of the [French] people" is seen on the rostrum
15/30 17 September 2016
Pope Francis holding an infant during his visit to the neonatology ward of San Giovanni Hospital in Rome
16/30 16 September 2016
Outgoinng leader Nigel Farage embraces new leader of the anti-EU UK Independence Party (UKIP) Diane James as she is introduced at the UKIP Autumn Conference in Bournemouth Diane James was announced as UKIP's new leader on September 16 to replace charismatic figurehead Nigel Farage. Farage made the shock decision to quit as leader of the UK Independence Party following victory in the referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union. / AFP PHOTO / DANIEL LEAL-OLIVASDANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images
17/30 15 September 2016
Musicians and members of the Beatles, Paul McCartney, right, and Ringo Starr pose for photographers upon arrival at the World premiere of the Beatles movie, Ron Howard's 'Eight days a week-the touring years' in London
18/30 15 September 2016
Hillary Clinton boards her plane to return to campaigning after her bout with pneumonia at Westchester County Airport in White Plains, New York
19/30 15 September 2016
Japan's main opposition Democratic Party's new leader Renho (C) raises her fists with her party lawmakers after she was elected party leader at the party plenary meeting in Tokyo
20/30 15 September 2016
Secretary of State John Kerry listens as actor and activist Leonardo DiCaprio speaks at the Our Ocean, One Future conference at the State Department in Washington. The conferences focus on marine protected areas, sustainable fisheries, marine pollution, and climate-related impacts on the ocean
21/30 14 September 2016
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un provides field guidance to Farm No. 1116 under KPA Unit 810, in North Korea
22/30 13 September 2016
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May greets Myanmar's State Counsellor, Aung San Suu Kyi in N10 Downing Street. Aung San Suu Kyi is on an official visit to London
23/30 12 September 2016
Lindsay Lohan making a trade at BGC Annual Global Charity Day at Canary Wharf in London
24/30 11 September 2016
Hillary Clinton waves to the press as she leaves her daughter's apartment building after resting in New York. Clinton departed from a remembrance ceremony on the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks after feeling "overheated," but was later doing "much better," her campaign saidImages
25/30 11 September 2016
Tibet's exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama greets Belgian Flemish Parliament President Jan Peumans during a public debate in Brussels
26/30 11 September 2016
Producer Colin Firth arrives on the red carpet for the film "Loving" during the 41st Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), in Toronto, Canada
27/30 10 September 2016
Russian President Vladimir Putin poses for a photo during the celebrations for the City Day at Red Square in Moscow, Russia
28/30 9 September 2016
Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia with Prince Alexander during his christening at the Palace Chapel of the Drottningholm Palace, Stockholm, Sweden
29/30 8 September 2016
Actress Lily-Rose depp and actress Natalie Portman (R) attend the Premiere of the movie "Planetarium" presented out of competition at the 73rd Venice Film Festival
30/30 8 September 2016
UN Special Envoy, Angelina Jolie is greeted by UK Vice Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Gordon Messenger at the UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial at Lancaster House in London
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
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