Poor Ashton Kutcher! He did something that most of us have done, at one time or another… he made a statement based upon partial information. He heard Joe Paterno, long time coach of his favorite team, had been given the axe, and he tweeted this faux pas: Naturally, since Twitter was already trending on Paterno’s having been fired from Penn. State, the vast majority of which was coming from people condemning those that would defend Joe, the blood-hungry mob turned quickly. In fact, even I responded to his above tweet, suspecting that he might not be aware of the real issue: By then, a large number of Kutcher’s 8 million+ followers were already all over him, ready to grind his bones to make their bread. It got real ugly, real fast! Fortunately, Ashton was either paying attention or someone alerted him, and he quickly recanted, stating that he had only heard that Paterno had been fired, and had assumed it was purely a football issue. But the mob had tasted blood, and wasn’t to be appeased so easily. In spite of numerous responses to individual tweets, apologizing and admitting his own stupidity, the feeding frenzy continued to grow. Here are just a few of the last, and most calmed down tweets: By now, many people have probably told him that he should have made one single apology, clarifying his error, and allowed it to die a slow death. But he didn’t. He responded to many tweets, until he probably felt like his head would explode, and finally ended up with these two: I’m sure Ashton learned a valuable lesson today. Most of us that do business on the internet already know how fast a hot topic can trend when fueled by emotion. Now he knows it too. And if he didn’t already know, one thing that can move even faster than a Twitter trend is the tide of one’s fans. I feel for ya, man! Shame it had to happen, especially since I really enjoyed watching your first episode of Two and a Half Men today! Yeah, you stepped on it, dude, but it’s not the end of the world. Hey, the last time I checked, you’d picked up another 1,400 followers.
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