Does Social Media Access Sometimes Go Too Far?

Posted by on June 22, 2011 in Business Start Up Advice, Internet Marketing, SEO, Social Networking [ 0 Comments ]

Most people use sites such as Facebook and Twitter to share portions of their lives with friends, family and even complete strangers.

In many cases, the tweets or shares that go on each and every day in the social media world are relatively harmless and oftentimes go unnoticed.

Such was not the case; however, earlier this week when famed movie critic Roger Ebert took to his Facebook and Twitter pages to comment rather derisively on the death Monday morning of “Jackass” star Ryan Dunn.

Dunn and a male passenger were killed outside Philadelphia when Dunn’s Porsche went flying off of a road at a high speed and hit a tree, bursting into flames. According to reports, Dunn had been drinking just prior to the accident.

After tweeting, “Friends don’t let jackasses drink and drive,” Ebert shared this little jewel on Facebook: “Facebook has removed my page in response, apparently, to malicious complaints from one or two jerks,” Ebert tweeted on June 21. “Facebook! My page is harmless and an asset to you. Why did you remove it in response to anonymous jerks? Makes you look bad.”

Facebook, which soon restored Ebert’s page, said the decision was done in error. Error? Perhaps it was all the negative feedback the well-known social media venue had been receiving?

According to a blog he posted on the Chicago Sun-Times, Ebert claimed he was too quick to tweet, but still believes that Dunn’s alleged drinking and reported speeding just before the accident should not go unnoticed.

“I don’t know what happened in this case, and I was probably too quick to tweet,” he said. “That was unseemly. I do know that nobody has any business driving on a public highway at 110mph, as some estimated – or fast enough, anyway, to leave a highway and fly through 40 yards of trees before crashing. That is especially true if the driver has had three shots and three beers. Two people were killed. What if the car had crashed into another car?”

On Wednesday, a police officer involved in the investigation stated that Dunn’s blood alcohol content was .196, close to two-and-a-half times over the legal limit (.08) in Pennsylvania.

Ironically, Twitter may also help authorities with their investigation, in the fact that Dunn posted a photo on the site drinking with friends’ just hours prior to the crash.

While Ebert certainly brings up valid points regarding irresponsible driving and the fact that some innocent driver and passengers etc. could also have been killed, his wording and timing of his tweet was irresponsible to say the least.

Social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook offer a world of opportunities for both individuals and businesses alike.

That being said, they need to be used responsibly so that it is the message and not the messenger that takes center stage.

Photo credit: Daily Life

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