The Dangers of Twitter: @EvaLongoria’s Unfortunate ‘Prison B*tch’ Retweet

Oct 12, 2012
10:25 PM

We understand. When you are a political junkie and are watching a debate and you think that your guy is doing an amazing job and you have your smart phone and you start tweeting your excitement, it might lead to major problems.

Such is the case of Eva Longoria, who retweeted the following to her over 4.4 million followers last night during the vice presidential between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan:

Of course, such a tweet will get attention and by this morning, the conservative blog Twitchy had already posted about it. Twitchy's post went on to equate Longoria's retweet to a joke about rape and they also made sure to remind people that Longoria is one of President Obama's campaign co-chairs. Naturally, Twitchy's readers and the other blogs that picked up the story ate it up. You don't think the attention didn't get to Longoria? Eventually the tweet was deleted from Longoria's feed, yet the deed had already been done and screen captured. (FYI: Nancy Lee Granh's original tweet is still public.)

We asked our Facebook community what they thought about what Longoria posted and as expected, the majority of our readers agreed: Longoria screwed up. (Psst, and they don't read Twitchy.) Here is just one of the many comments that we have received:

What I think about her retweet and Nancy Lee Grahn's original statement is that it's disgusting. No one deserves rape and to make fun of it, under any circumstance, is wrong. Rape is power over and while it may be that Biden showed power over Ryan in the debate, that was completely the wrong way to express it. I'm by far conservative, I'm by far self-righteous, so please do not accuse me of either. One in four women report being raped at least once in their life time (the stats are higher we know because not all people report rape). I just feel it's very inappropriate for them or anyone to use the word rape in this way. It's an insult to all survivors and it makes light of the word when it's a very serious and real issue.

We have said it time and time again. Twitter is a dangerous place, especially if you are a highly visible profile with millions and millions of followers. No matter what you do, people on Twitter are ready to call you out and pounce on you. That is the price you pay for using a social media platform that can cause you headaches if you don't handle it right. We know that feeling when you see something with less than 140 characters that makes you react. Before you pause and rethink whether you should RT something or not, the RT button has already been pressed and you can't take it back. Believe us, we have been there. It ain't pretty, and the one thing we have learned is that if you screw up, just say that you screwed up. Put the ego away and tweet out an apology. The vast majority of people (except for Twitchy and its followers) will pretty much accept an apology from Longoria and move on. In the end, this is just another passing story, one of the many thousands that continue to stream through our feeds. What is today's Twitter story will sure be forgotten a few hours later.

Did the RT reveal a bit more about Longoria? Sure. Did it show a lack of class and professionalism for someone who is formally advocating for the president? Yes. Would a simple Twitter apology serve her well at this stage of the game? Absolutely. Has she done so already? No, not really, but we suspect that when Longoria tweeted this out today, she was trying to address her problems.

That tweet really doesn't say much. Longoria can do better on this one issue. Just tweet out a real non-PR-generated apology and learn from it the next time you get caught up in the social media frenzy that has now become part of the political landscape.