Twitter can be a great tool for boosting one's popularity, or at least public profile. But, some celebrities are deciding that its just not worth the trouble.
Recently, Alec Baldwin dropped off Twitter, then came back. But, then he ended up fending off a Twitter attack on his girlfriend from a stalker. He enlisted the help of his fans and followers, who then turned on the offender with so much venom that he/she left Twitter altogether.
But, others have just bailed entirely. Singer Sinead O'Conner dropped her Twitter account, issuing the statement:
Just realise twitter is sadly not safe for people who do what I do for a living. And we have to be more guarded with ourselves for our own safety and the safety of others.
She did come back, briefly:
Friends and enemies.. I have briefly re- joined twitter in order to send around thechange.org petition set up by Trayvon Martin's parents, asking for the killer of their child to be arrested.
It is vital this petition get as much attention as possible outside of America. Please sign and re-tweet or e mail it to your contacts or share it on Facebook.
My username is @connor_sinead
The petition can be found in my timeline.
And, sure enough:
The beauty and difficulty with Twitter is that it gives the same voice to everyone. A celebrity can make a statement on a television show or radio program and it will largely go unchallenged in that medium. But, post that on Twitter and someone else can respond to it with the same level of authority that it was posted. For example, Rush Limbaugh tweeted this:
And a guy with 487 followers responded:
Now, every time someone sees Limbaugh's tweet, Larry K's response is right there with it. That factor makes many wonder why Rush Limbaugh is touting his renewed interest in tweeting. He would not have the kind of control and screening that he usually enjoys. For every argument he posts, he could have many replies that stick with him forever.
There is also the foot-in-mouth problem. After Penn State fired Joe Paterno in the midst of a child sexual abuse scandal, Ashton Kutcher took to Twitter to protest the firing, unaware of the circumstances. His tweet was publicized like wildfire and he was forced to apologize. Now, the actor who was once a very popular fixture in Twitter no longer sends his own tweets, but has a media relations firm do it for him.