When Tweeting with URL Shorteners Goes Wrong

    October 20, 2010
    Chris Crum

Former eBay President and CEO Meg Whitman is of course running for Governor of California. A spokesperson working for her has provided us all with a lesson about being careful with our social media content, and to always check our links before we share them with the world. 

Gizmodo points to a tweet from Sarah Pompei (the spokesperson), which was supposed to be a link to an endorsement for Whitman from The San Diego County Deputy Sherriffs’ Association:

SD Cnty Sheriff Assoc says @Whitman2010 4 gov! RT: @Murphy4MegNews: CA Cops get it: Jerry Brown is too soft on crime. http://bit.ly/bNCAVMon Oct 18 23:39:19 via web

Instead, the link went to this YouTube video:

Buzzfeed shows the announcement from Whitman of the endorsement, which says:

"Meg Whiman today announced the endorsement of the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association of San Diego County. The association represents more than 3,000 member of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department."

"’Frontline law enforcement professionals agree that California needs strong laws and leaders who enforce them, and I am honored to have the support of the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association of San Diego County," Meg Whitman said…

And so on.

The story, as it’s being reported from several sources is that Pompei simply left a character off of the shortened bit.ly link that goes to the video. And herein lies the lesson. I wonder how many other shortened links out there are going to unintended destinations.

Now that could be an issue for your online reputation

Here are a few of the most visible reactions to the tweet as of the time of this writing:

@sarahpompei @Whitman2010 @Murphy4MegNews i’m not sure what you posted is what you think you posted…not exactly appropriate for kidsWed Oct 20 18:17:22 via web

@sarahpompei What does a man dressed as a princess playing the bass have to do with anything?Wed Oct 20 15:09:30 via web

@sarahpompei @Whitman2010 @Murphy4MegNews Meg Whitman is turning japanese! She rocks hard and has balls of steelWed Oct 20 17:52:30 via web

Pompei has not removed the tweet with the faulty link thus far.


Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.