back to top

10 Tweets In 2014 That Backfired Spectacularly.

The world was recovering from the infamous AIDS joke tweeted by PR exec Justine Sacco in late 2013. But 2014 was still littered with companies shooting themselves in the foot with ill-conceived, and sometimes just downright insensitive tweets. Let this be a lesson in responsible tweeting. Best Buy learned theirs today.

Posted on

Best Buy (#Serial)


Serial, a podcast about an investigation into the 1999 murder of Baltimore teen Hae Min Lee, have exploded in popularity in the last 2 months. Today, Best Buy tried, and failed, to capitalize on that. The tweet was prompted removed, followed by an apology.

Bill Cosby (#CosbyMeme)


This tweet was one of many factors that touched off the firestorm Cosby find himself in right now. In November, Bill Cosby's Twitter account invited its followers to create memes with the hashtag #CosbyMeme. The hashtag was quickly hijacked with hundreds of tweets alluding to Cosby's many alleged rape allegations. The rest, as they say, is history.

New England Patriots (#1MillionPatriots)


To celebrate being the first NFL team to reach 1 million followers on Twitter, The Patriots invited their followers to retweet the above image for a chance to have a digital jersey created that includes their handle. When a fan whose handle included a racial slur was chosen as a winner, an unfortunate image was tweeted to the account's million plus followers. The team quickly removed the tweet, and blamed a filter system that failed to catch the offensive word.



Before the events of Ferguson and Staten Island, the NYPD launched a campaign aimed to promote positive relations between the police force and those they protect. The account tweeted a picture of a friendly interaction with the hashtag #myNYPD. Those who have had very different experiences with various police forces around the world quickly hijacked the campaign. The hashtag became the lightning rod for the public decrying police brutality and violence.

Robin Thicke (#AskThicke)


This one played out almost exactly like #CosbyMeme 5 months later. Robin Thicke was just coming off a career high after releasing "Blurred Lines", but many had questions about the song's message and the singer's treatment of women. Thicke was quickly bombarded with questions about his sleazy behavior.

Ann Coulter (#BringBackOurCountry)


Soon after the First Lady's tweet for #BringBackOurGirls went viral, conservative pundit Ann Coulter tweeted her own take. She gravely underestimated the Photoshop skills of the general public. Her photo was retweeted many times, but not before different messages were photoshopped in place of her original message. Let's just say, none of them were very nice.

JCPenney (2014 Super Bowl)

Throughout the Super Bowl game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks, whoever was in charge of the JCPenney Twitter account sent out a string of incoherent tweets. They were quickly retweeted and ridiculed. Many thought the author was drunk, judging by the rampant misspellings. As it turns out, JCPenney was promoting their Team USA mittens and later explained it with #TweetingWithMittens.

Paramount Studios Australia (#TMNT)


Paramount Studios Australia came under fire when they revealed a poster for their then upcoming movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Normally, that wouldn't be cause for much concern. But as they soon found out, it was a combination of the film's release date, and the subject matter included in the poster that many took offense to. The poster showed the title characters jumping out of an exploding high-rise, and the film was slatted for release on September 11th.

Delta (#USAvGHA)


Another tweet that requires close examination. After Team USA's victory over Ghana in the World Cup this year, Delta tweeted their congratulations with the attached photo. Innocent enough until you find out that while giraffes exist on the continent of Africa, they do not exist in Ghana. Delta later apologized and wished all teams luck in the competition.

US Airways


The second entry from the American aviation industry and by far the most NSFW entry in this list. US Airways was routinely responding to a customer who had complained about the service they received. But something went terribly wrong. Somehow a very NSFW image was attached and tweeted at the customer. It took the company nearly an hour to realize their mistake, remove the tweet, and issue an apology.

Here's hoping 2015 will be a better year. Remember, tweet responsibly.

This post was created by a member of BuzzFeed Community, where anyone can post awesome lists and creations. Learn more or post your buzz!