Earlier today, I caught a glimpse of a specific tweet that caught my attention in my Twitter stream. It wasn’t a RT, @ mention or statement that was easily decodable in the single 140 character snippet; it was a serious comment from a food-related business account that said something to the effect that (this tweeter’s) rights had been violated via someone hacking their account.

Assuming this tweet was a continuation of one tweet before (as some people occasionally make longer-winded statements that roll over to two or three tweets), I went to the business’ twitter stream to investigate the context of what I’d seen.

Don't be an angry bird!

I’m not going to name the account to which I’m alluding because I don’t wish to incriminate them, but I do think that this is an example-worthy scenario. I’ll allude to this business as “X.”

When I got to X’s twitter page, I was quite suprised to see that their entire stream for t

he past week was tweets about this situation. It seems someone hacked the owner’s website, blog, social media accounts, etc., and he/she was clearly upset about it. That, of course, is totally understandable, and it’s awful that something like this happened to them.

But, many of the comments still live on this business’ twitter page are really unprofessional. It’s one thing to civilly discuss a situation as it’s unfolding, but it’s another to go about it in an unprofessional manner — The majority of the tweets were directed angerly toward the hacker; commentaries which should’ve been directed privately, not publicly, and not in a “whining”-like manner, for all this business’ supporters to witness. Nearly all of them contain harsh sarcasm, several contain obscenities and there’s even a racial slur.

Even though I understand this person was wronged, my perception of this brand has deteriorated as a result of the way they conducted themselves. The way they carried on was very immature, and I don’t see myself ever wanting to even engage with them again after this.

It’s also unfortunate in that, had they gone about it differently, they could’ve received some really great support from their online community. This account has over 20,000 followers, yet, when you do a search of who is talking to/about them, barely anyone is.  It would’ve been easy to rally supporters and get some huge publicity out of this case, but instead they isolated themselves by getting angry and lashing out.

Even if your business is somehow victimized, be careful how you present yourself online. Being wrong doesn’t justify inappropriate sentiments, ones that, once you’ve put them out there, can’t be retracted.