November 24, 2014

How Not to Tweet if You’re a Television Station

Like thousands of other webizens, I took to Twitter on the evening of November 24, 2014.

I did so to understand how Ferguson, Missouri was handling a grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Darren Brown, the man behind the gun that killed Michael Brown on August 9, 2014.

Mike Costa is the General Manager of “Chattanooga’s Number One TV Station” and — or so it seems — the brains and brawn behind its Twitter account.

Things began going south rather quickly with Mr. Costa when — as his main network cut into his station’s normal programming — he decided to tweet the following:


On one hand, perhaps Mike thought he was providing a good deed to the 28,000 Twitter followers of WTVC NewsChannel 9.

On the other hand, it’s a rather good argument of depicting everything that is wrong with society today. It’s not only insensitive, it’s inane.

I mean, “Dancing with the Stars?”


And you had to use the #Ferguson hashtag, right?

Things got progressively worse. It was as if Mr. Costa was Bambi and Twitter was Godzilla … not dissimilar to that 1969 classic movie, Bambi Meets Godzilla.

Spoiler alert: it didn’t end well for Bambi.

Mike decided to take down the ill-advised original tweet, and then proceeded to tell everyone about it.


Alright Mike, apology accepted (well done, actually) … but did you have to tweet, “to stop the bad signal from spreading?” This isn’t H1N1 or the Measles. It’s just a tweet. A bad tweet, but just a tweet.

Next up, Mike decided to start engaging people. One of the best was his exchange with @lovesickglee, where he pleads his innocence. Sure, you may have had some unruly customers and were trying to be proactive, but rule number one when it comes to anything on social media is to “think before you type”. (In all fairness, Mike did use the word “lunkheaded” in this tweet, so I forgave him for a nanosecond.)


When Twitter user Michael Killi issued a somewhat innocuous tweet suggesting the night was going to be long for “the person running the @newschannelnine Twitter account” what did Mike do?


You may not believe this, but Mike decided to retweet Michael’s tweet. #OMG


And finally, Mike Costa ventured over to his own Twitter account, and once again, issued another apology.

I believe him on this one as well.


But like I stated earlier, “think before you type”.

Insensative? Poorly word? (as opposed to insensitive and poorly worded)

I’m certain Mr. Costa is the General Manager of a television station. His Twitter profile says so. I reckon it was a tough night for him.

But Mike, in situations like this, it’s best to apologize once and step away from the Twitter.

Afterward, for what might be an incomprehensible number of apologies coming out of one man’s laptop, naturally, Mike apologized for his spelling mistake.


But he missed the correction to “poorly worded”.

“Think before your type!”

Godzilla 1. Bambi 0.

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