9 Social Media Misfires That Landed Companies, Celebs & Athletes in Hot Water

social media misfiresSome people say there's no such thing as bad publicity, but companies, celebrities, and athletes who've suffered social media misfires may beg to differ. Some of these viral gaffes even started as advertisements, but quickly struck a nerve as they took the Internet by storm. All it takes is one misstep, and even if it's an oversight, unintentional, or a hack, you can end up in hot water in a hurry.

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These 9 social media gaffes would make you laugh if they weren't so cringe-worthy!

1. Snapchat's 420 filter causes obvious backlash.

One of the most recent and head-scratching social media misfires was Snapchat's decision to offer a Bob Marley filter in celebration of April 20. (You know, 4/20, the pot-smoker's holiday.) In case you wanted to see yourself with dreadlocks and in black face, the social media platform provided the opportunity, which many deemed racist and just flat-out bizarre. Kylie Jenner, however, was quick to test out the filter most Internet users found offensive.

2. Gap Kids Ad pits sister against sister.

While this Gap Kids ad campaign was aimed at empowering girls, it ended up sparking a firestorm of controversy when people thought the photo in which a white girl is leaning on a black girl -- who turned out to be her sister -- had racist undertones. Gap Kids apologized for the ad even as the girls' mom explained the family connection. 

Gap kids ad

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3. Bloomingdales holiday ad seems to encourage date rape.

Honestly, no one seems to be able to figure out how this Bloomingdales ad, which implies you should drug your friends for the holiday season, passed muster and made it to the mainstream. Many referred to it as the "date rape ad," forcing the high-end retailer to apologize.

4. DiGiorno's poor choice of hashtags makes light of domestic violence.

Jumping on a trending hashtag seems like a good idea -- as long as you understand the meaning behind it. DiGiorno went ahead and sent out a Tweet with the hashtag #WhyIStayed, not realizing it was referring to domestic violence. The pizza maker immediately apologized.

5. Bud Light's campaign undermines "no means no."

Everyone knows alcohol lowers your inhibitions, but when a beer maker suggests it as a way to "remove no" from someone's vocabulary, it leaves a really bad taste in your mouth. Bud Light eventually removed the actual "no" from the label, saying it missed the mark. 

6. Heinz ketchup's QR code redirects customers to a porn site. 

Want a little porn with that ketchup? That's what Heinz was inadvertently serving up when QR codes on the back of its bottles redirected customers to a pornography website. This gaffe gave new meaning to the term "food porn."

7. College athlete's Twitter hack costs him millions.

Athletes learned a tough lesson this year thanks to Laremy Tunsil. The University of Mississippi offensive tackle claimed his Twitter account was hacked after a video of him ripping a bong hit while wearing a gas mask was tweeted just before the NFL draft. The 21-year-old watched his chances of being a first-round pick go up in smoke, pun intended, because of this alarming video. But if he hadn't been doing it in the first place there'd be nothing to tweet -- just sayin'.

8. Total Beauty makes total blunder as the company mixes up Whoopie and Oprah.

Oh my! Total Beauty confused the two famous daytime talk show hosts in an awkward misfire. The tweet remained on Total Beauty's feed for a full 40 minutes before the error was caught and an apology issued.

9. Trump's retweet is a low blow -- even for him.

Proving that a retweet can be just as hurtful as an original, the likely GOP nominee took aim at rival Ted Cruz's wife with this nasty retweet in which Heidi is pitted against Trump's former-supermodel wife, Melania. The move seemed particularly mean-spirited -- even for The Donald.

While there's plenty to be learned from these social media missteps, if we could boil it down to one sentence it would be: When it doubt, don't send it out!

 

Image via pathdoc/Shutterstock

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