To Delete a Tweet or Not to Delete a Tweet? That is the Question.

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By Carlee Pett, Assistant Account Executive, R&J Public Relations

Kanye West’s recurring paparazzi outbursts and his distasteful Twitter rant against late-night host Jimmy Kimmel are causing his fans to raise their eyebrows. All of us working in public relations are rolling our eyes, knowing that this is yet another hurdle for his publicist to overcome. Although his publicist probably should have seen this coming, it makes me wonder what he/she is planning for Kanye, in an effort to improve his public image, yet again.

Once a young, multitalented rapper ranking high on the billboard charts, Kanye is quickly becoming known as an egotistical, explosively short-tempered, and thoughtless, spotlight-hungry rapper.

For those of you who haven’t been following this current event, Kanye’s caps-locked Twitter tirade, which occurred last Thursday, is now gone and his page appears to be cleaned up. Clearly, he realized the absurdity of his tweets and deleted them, but does that mean they were never really even there?

This chronicle of events brings me to my question: whether we are a celebrity, publicist, or an average Joe, if you make a mistake or regret a social media post, can you just delete that Facebook post/tweet/blog post, and pretend like it never existed? In my opinion, deleting a post is not the same as issuing a public apology for making a mistake (or throwing a Twitter temper tantrum, in Kanye’s case). In my experience, I’ve learned that when you make a mistake the best things you can do are:

  • Admit that you were wrong and made a mistake
  • Be accountable for your actions and take responsibility for the mistake
  • Be proactive in the recovery and try to amend the problem
  • Limit drawing any additional attention to you or the problem, to avoid the potential of a PR crisis
  • Put thought into every single message that gets posted online
  • Don’t act on your emotions or post on your social media platforms if you are angry/upset
  • If possible, embrace a positive prevention strategy, and have a solution lined up before the problem even starts

What would you suggest, if you were Kanye or his publicist? Do you think he should have deleted his tweets?

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