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
1/25 29 August 2016
Suspended Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff answers to questions during the impeachment trial, at the National Congress in Brasilia. Rousseff who testified for the first time at her trial, urged the Senate to vote against impeaching her, denying charges that she fiddled government accounts
2/25 28 August 2016
Drake presents Rihanna with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award during the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards in New York
3/25 25 August 2015
Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock tops Forbes' 2016 Highest Paid actors list after earning $64 million over the past year
4/25 24 August 2016
Nigel Farage speaks about Brexit at a Donald Trump rally in Jackson, Mississippi
5/25 21 August 2016
Gold medallist Helen Glover celebrates during the Olympics closing ceremony
6/25 20 August 2016
Mo Farah wins the 5,000 metre race in Rio
Julian Finney/Getty Images
7/25 17 August 2016
Laura Trott, right, kisses her fiance Jason Kenny, left, both of Britain, after he won the men's keirin cycling final at the Rio Olympic Velodrome during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro
8/25 16 August 2016
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton welcomes Vice President Joe Biden as he disembarks from Air Force Two for a joint campaign event in Scranton, Pennsylvania
9/25 15 August 2016
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he addresses the nation from the historic Red Fort during Independence Day celebrations in Delhi
10/25 14 August 2016
Jamaica's Usain Bolt (Top) poses with fellow athletes for a selfie photo as he celebrates after winning the Men's 100m Final during the athletics event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro
11/25 13 August 2016
Former Cuban President Fidel Castro (2nd L), sitting between Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (3rd L) and Cuban President Raul Castro (L), is seen attending the celebration of his 90th birthday at the Karl Marx theatre in Havana
12/25 12 August 2016
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May walks in a forest with her husband Philip at the start of a summer holiday in the Alps, in Switzerland
13/25 11 August 2016
Pope Francis smiles as he browses through drawings at the Vatican. Pope Francis had lunch with a group of Syrian refugees who were brought to Italy from the Greek island of Lesbos thanks to the pope's intercession. The Vatican said that the pope brought toys and other gifts for the children, who, in turn, gave him a selection of their drawings
14/25 10 August 2016
Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters in front of the Presidential Palace in Ankara
15/25 9 August 2016
Cast member Salma Hayek takes a selfie with co-stars (L-R) Nick Kroll, Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen, Michael Cera and Danny McBride at the premiere for the movie "Sausage Party" in Los Angeles
16/25 19 July 2016
Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildrim addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party (AKP) during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara
17/25 18 July 2016
Melania Trump, wife of Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump, waves as she arrives to speak at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland
18/25 18 July 2016
Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson listens to Spain's Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo (L) during an European Union foreign ministers meeting in Brussels
19/25 17 July 2016
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reacts after attending the funeral of a victim of the coup attempt in Istanbul
20/25 16 July 2016
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, introduces Gov. Mike Pence, during a campaign event to announce Pence as the vice presidential running mate, in New York. Trump called Pence "my partner in this campaign" and his first and best choice to join him on a winning Republican presidential ticket
21/25 15 July 2016
French President Francois Hollande looks on as he speaks to journalists at the Prefectoral Palace the day after a gunman smashed a truck into a crowd of revellers celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, killing at least 84 people
22/25 14 July 2016
Newly appointed British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson leaves his home in north London
23/25 13 July 2016
Queen Elizabeth II welcomes Theresa May at the start of an audience, where she invited the former Home Secretary to become Prime Minister and form a new government, at Buckingham Palace. Former Home Secretary Theresa May becomes the UK's second female Prime Minister after she was selected unopposed by Conservative MPs to be their new party leader
Getty Images Europe
24/25 13 July 2016
Outgoing British Prime Minister David Cameron is accompanied by his wife Samantha and their children as they hug on the doorsteps upon their departure from No. 10 Downing Street for the last time
25/25 12 July 2016
Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai arrives to celebrate her 19th birthday at the Dadaab refugee camp near the Kenya-Somalia border
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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