TVNewser AgencySpy TVSpy LostRemote FishbowlNY FishbowlDC SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Went Kind of Racist on Us Today

Cue the green slime—it’s time for another episode of You Can’t Do That on Twitter. Here’s the tweet that’s been burning up the Internet this morning:


Yes, that’s pretty bad. And the fact that it’s an obscure joke (William Lynch was a fictitious slaveowner who supposedly made a famous speech about better “managing” slaves by turning them against each other) almost makes it worse. The AJC quickly took it down and issued an apology—and we assume someone is going to be out of a job by the end of the day.

It’s kind of a shame that slip-ups like this one get so much attention. On the other hand, it was a shocking failure of social media management that will rightfully end up in many future “worst of” listicles.

From a strategic perspective, it’s one thing to be loose and “conversational” and lightly funny on Twitter. It’s quite another thing to make a joke that any manager with half a brain would immediately shoot down. The key is finding a midpoint between dry and snarky that’s as far away from this sort of comment as possible.

Mediabistro Course

Social Media 101

Social Media 101Get hands-on social media training in our online boot camp, Social Media 101! Starting September 4, social media and marketing experts will help you determine the social media sites that matter most to you, based on your personal and professional goals. Register before July 31 and get $50 OFF with early bird pricing. Register now!