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Scott Brown and The Dangers of Late-Night Tweeting

Scott Brown TwitterScott Brown, the former Massachusetts senator whose recent loss to Elizabeth Warren left his political future uncertain, got some unwanted attention over the weekend after releasing a series of nonsensical late-night tweets that left many questioning his sobriety.

It’s both a silly story and a great illustration of how a series of poorly thought-out messages can lead to PR disaster–especially for public figures on social media.

The timeline is pretty simple:

Late Friday night, Brown responded to a few Twitter users’ politically inflammatory statements with a series of “whatever” posts that soon devolved into incoherence topped by the now-famous “Bqhatevwr” (which quickly became a meme among Twitter’s hyper-active journalism community).

Brown deleted the tweets, but screen grabs by savvy reporters ensured that the damage had been done. The big question: was he drunk, or had the Ambien just kicked in?

We don’t want to pile on the poor guy (plenty of others are doing that for us), but after a series of morning messages hyping his upcoming book signings and complaining about household chores, these snarky outbursts seemed like the kind of random, half-formed thoughts more appropriate for teens who don’t have Brown’s political clout–or his 57,000 followers.

Brown should be very concerned about his public image right now: Senior Massachusetts Senator John Kerry‘s nomination to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State leaves an opening for Brown to re-enter the political fray. Unfortunately, despite a Boston Globewill he or won’t he run again” cover story, the only thing people are speculating about today re: Scott Brown is exactly what he was thinking (or not thinking) when he clicked “send” and turned #Bqhatevwr into a viral hashtag.

Will this little incident affect Brown’s chances of reviving his political career? Probably not. But we hope he learned his lesson: no tweeting after midnight (or after more than two whiskey and sodas).

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