Blaming Twitter – Tom Daley

Tom Daley - Olympics Twitter

What will I tweet?

An insensitive fool sends a tweet to British Olympian Tom Daley telling him “he let his dad down” , after Tom and his synchronised swimming partner, Peter Waterfield narrowly missed out on medals at the Olympics yesterday.

Tom’s dad Rob passed away in 2011 from Brain cancer. How dumb was that tweet? ….then again, how often do we hear people saying dumb things?

The tweet is dominating the Sky Sports News headlines this morning and authorities are going to “conduct an investigation“. On the way into work I heard they have the tweeter tracked down and he is going to be called in for questioning …for a dumb tweet, now that is also fairly dumb!

This whole incident will open up the debate and the inevitable conclusion by many, will be that Twitter is to blame.

This story reminds me of a debate I have regularly with a friend of mine who was a very prominent broadcaster a while back. She gives out about social media, doesn’t see the point of it and is generally very sceptical about its whole existence.

I remember one particular day she rang me all enthusiastic as she finally had great evidence that would prove her point of view. The famous singer Sinead O’Connor had just tweeted that “she was looking for a big hairy man“!

I just pointed out to her that Sinead O’Connor has always had a tendency for saying strange things – now she just has another place to say them!

Twitter is an open platform (you can control this with your personal settings but most users leave their profiles open) where everyone can tweet whatever they have to say – Yep, often this does include quite dumb stuff!

Celebs, sports personalities and even politicians use it to boost their profiles, to make a point, to promote events or products. They can get a huge benefit from it if they use it properly. Mere mortals like ourselves and that dumb tweeter can also jump in there, lap it up and punch away at our keyboards pushing our own little messages out there, whatever those might be.

Like everything else in life if it’s interesting I’ll listen and if it’s not I won’t – if that person is an insensitive fool or I just don’t like them I can simply block them.

Tom Daley did the right thing and retweeted what that fool had said and easily exposed his “dumbness” – that was the very best way of dealing with the situation. As I write Tom Daley has 783,041 followers on twitter – I would call that job done!

So, forget the further action by the authorities, forget the twitter bashing, embrace that we do live in a free society where we are free to speak.

But remember if you say something dumb, a lot of people can get to see it …

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion with offices in Cork and Dublin provide social media training and consultancy

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13 Responses to “Blaming Twitter – Tom Daley”

  1. srdan-k Says:

    Hi Greg,
    One more good article from you. Really enjoyed reading it.

    First it is shame and a bad thing what happened here with Tom. But as you said, Twitter is open platform where everyone can express them self. They can say some good stuff but also some stupid things, too. One thing they forget is: That “STUFF” twitts will always be there. Always. Internet is a great but strange thing – everything you post, like, or comment, stays on internet forever…;) ;(
    You came up with some great points here. People should learn how to control themselves and count till 10, before they post some stupid thing on the Twitter or any other social media. It could cost you a lot. Apparently some Police forces in Europe are monitoring Facebook and Twitter for offensive and possibly dangerous posts and twitts.
    So be SMART… Watch what you saying, read it before you post it and count till 10 before you make a dummbass of your self.


    • Greg Canty Says:

      thanks for the positive feedback Srdan …. in this case it is how to make a lot of people know you are a dumb ass really quickly !

      • srdan-k Says:

        People are rushing into it, without thinking…
        I know that from the personal experiences..Just being absolutely without any patience… :((
        But if you can learn on your mistakes, that you are grand..
        If not, than that is a discussion for some other day…;)

  2. Stadler W Says: Looks like he said a lot of dumb things, and made a few death threats while he was at it…

  3. Mike Says:

    He threatened to drown him and got nastier and more abusive with each tweet, don’t be so quick to take the side of a bully!

  4. Janey H Says:

    Don’t mean to be pedantic but …… Tom was competing in the synchronised diving competition, not synchronised swimming.

  5. David Says:

    Hi Greg,
    I am a little surprised that for someone who works in PR and Marketing you only really tell a very small part of the much more serious situation.
    The comment about letting his father down pales into insignificance when he is accused Tom of having a gay relationship with his diving partner, who is married with kids btw. Accused him of having HIV, threatening drown him etc, etc. So to be honest in future, you need to do a little more research on a topic before you post in future.

    • Greg Canty Says:

      Hi David, thanks for your feedback. You are right , there is a lot more to this story. My advice is still solid …. RT the “poster” and leave them with a red face. It’s the best way of dealing with these fools. Looking forward to reading your posts on the topic.

  6. David Says:

    Hey Greg, Yes that’s an option, but you are then only feeding in to the need of attention that the poster so seeks. Obviously not being a celebrity or have any fame what so ever, but I have had nasty tweets…I reported them, blocked them, and in turn silenced them.
    I’m glad he was arrested, and hopefully people will think twice about posting threats. bullying in cyberspace is an ever growing problem resulting in serious problems, especially with kids in high school. Suicide from bullying is a horrific fact. I think more needs to be done against all types of bullying.
    Catch ya Greg!
    Enjoy the weekend.

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