Social media is quite the experience.

The medium allows you to interact with millions of people all over the world in just a few seconds.

It’s changed our society.

Whether that change is a good thing  is up for debate.

Some love it.

Some detest it.

Like the rest of the Internet, we have yet to see its full potential and power.

In some instances, certain companies and individuals haven’t figured it out yet.

It’s what we refer to as the epic social media fails.

The most recent example is the New England Patriots.


In early November, the NFL club was ecstatic that it hit 1 million followers on Twitter.

The team tweeted out to fans asking them to retweet a message about its one million followers. Anyone who did got an image of a Patriots jersey with their Twitter handle on the back.

What could possibly go wrong?

A bot handling your social media? There’s no way people would take advantage of that.


As you would expect someone did, and the New England Twitter account sent out an incredibly racist tweet. Of course, the Patriots deleted the tweet but people should know by now just because you delete it doesn’t make it disappear. The tweet was saved by just about everyone, so when New England did delete it, followers still had proof.

The backlash was instantaneous.


The Patriots sent out an apologetic tweet, but it didn’t matter.

The Internet was not in a forgiving mood, as you can see.

How about those airlines?

Aside from the Patriots’ epic fail, at the top of the list are airlines.

At some point, they just need to stop using social media or have someone like us teach them how to do it properly.

The old adage, “Any publicity is good publicity” is tested by airlines way too often.

The big one is the photo mishap with US Airways.

In response to a customer compliant, the airline tweeted out a graphic photo.

The company later explained it was an honest mistake since the company attempted to flag the photo as inappropriate. When it did, Twitter copied the image URL.


When the company attempted to tweet the customer, the two tweets linked each other.

That brings up the first thing companies and people should get training on when it comes to  this new social media age: be cautious. As a matter of fact, be extremely cautious.

Don’t take the risk if you’re not 100 percent certain.

The airline might think that’s an honest mistake, but if it had been cautious, it probably wouldn’t have happened.

Southwest Airlines had a face palm moment a few months ago.

A male customer received priority seating but his two kids did not. Worse, they weren’t even allowed to board the plane.

The customer then tweeted out, “Wow, rudest agent in Denver. Kimberly S, gate c39, not happy @SWA.”

It’s his Twitter account, so he has every right to say it.

According to AdWeek, the man and his two kids were then asked by the agent to de-board the plane when he was told to delete the tweet if he wanted to get back on the flight.

He did.

That’s only the start.

The agent said she felt threatened. In other words, she didn’t want her employer to see the tweet.

What people like this agent fail to understand is even if you delete something on social media, it still exists.

And what’s to keep him tweeting something even more damaging to her when he lands?

Jack Sparrow

But it doesn’t end there.

As Business2Communtiy points out, Southwest doubled down.

“A Southwest Airlines employee and customer were having a conversation about the airline’s family boarding procedures that escalated. The customer was removed from (the) flight for a period of time to resolve the conversation outside of the aircraft and away from the other passengers.”

The customer’s 6-year-old daughter had a different take. “I, like, thought something bad was going to happen, like my dad being in jail,” she told reporters.

The company did try to make it right with $50 in vouchers.

It would appear Southwest Airlines thinks it can control what its customers put on social media. That’s an epic fail.

United Airlines had its recent fail, too. Only it wasn’t stated on social media but ignited there.


In late July, a customer received a response letter to their complaint.

Only, the customer care manager didn’t take the time to fill in the required areas before sending it.

Another example of shoddy, lazy customer service.

Don’t mess with TV shows or movies

If you want to tick people off, give away what happens on a popular TV show. And do so before the whole country has time to even watch the episode.

That happened earlier this week with AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”

In most cases, at least a few weeks is adequate time to give people enough time to watch the mid-season or season finale. It’s common decency.

It’s one thing when it’s a viewer or critic who does that. It’s a whole other level of epic fail when it’s the network that airs the show … on the same night (Nov. 30) the episode airs.


AMC didn’t wait for the West Coast to even see the episode before it gave the ending away. As soon as the mid-season finale ended on the East Coast, “The Walking Dead” Facebook page put a photo of Daryl (Norman Reedus) carrying the dead body of Beth (Emily Kinney). Not much is left for interpretation with that photo. But there also is the caption “RIP Beth” to nail it home what happened on the episode.

As you can imagine, people lost their minds. There weren’t condolences for Beth but profanity-laced comments and memes from upset viewers.

If you read the apology from AMC, the network was cutesy with it. When companies do stuff like that, own up to it. Don’t make it worse.

Other epic social media fails:

London Luton Airport didn’t make the wisest decision when it used an airplane crashing to say, “Because we are such a super airport… this is what we prevent you from when it snows… Weeeee :)”

The guy on Facebook licking the taco shells.

The poor soul who thinks Billy Ray Cyrus is Kurt Cobain.

The Geraldo Rivera photo.

But the best, Justin Bieber fans not knowing what a DUI is.


Social media is quite the experience.

You never know what you’ll see next.

One thing is for certain: It highlights the stupid in our society with the new Scarlet Letter.

And remember: Just because you delete it doesn’t mean it’s gone.