Learning from Mistakes: Real-Life Negative Social Media Stories to Remember

Kiko Anderson
real life negative social media stories

Social media platforms are meant to bring people together and facilitate communication. However, with great power comes great responsibility and sometimes we mess up. In the era of social media, it is so easy to share a post, a tweet or a picture that may not necessarily reflect well on ourselves, our brand, or our business. Once it’s out there, it’s very hard to take it back. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at real-life negative social media stories and discuss what we can learn from them.

#1 The United Airlines Debacle

In 2017, United Airlines faced a major PR disaster when a video went viral showing airport security dragging a passenger off an overbooked flight. The video created a massive backlash, and the airline’s response only made the situation worse. Instead of apologizing, the company initially defended its policy, and the CEO’s half-hearted apology rubbed salt in the wound.

Lesson learned: Social media can make a problem escalate quickly before a company is even aware of it. Instead of doubling down on a policy that was clearly not well-received, United Airlines could have handled the situation better with a heartfelt and sincere apology immediately.

#2 J.C. Penney’s Twitter Hashtag Nightmare

In 2013, JCPenney tried to take advantage of the Super Bowl hashtag buzz by tweeting, “Who kkmew ouris before the game started?!” The tweet was riddled with typos and made no sense. Twitter users immediately seized on the mistake and started mocking the company. It was a PR disaster for J.C. Penney who had tried to be hip and relevant but ended up looking silly.

Lesson learned: Always, always, always double and triple check the content put out on social media. Typos and careless mistakes can cost your company credibility and can be hard to rectify.

#3 Kylie Jenner Shoots Herself in the Foot

In 2017, Kylie Jenner made a major blunder on Twitter when she tweeted “Sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me… ugh this is so sad” The tweet was followed by a drop in Snapchat’s share price by millions of dollars. Jenner had been one of the social-media app’s most high-profile advocates, and the tweet was seen as a clear indictment of Snapchat.

Lesson learned: Be careful about what you say on social media as your words can have a major impact on the success or failure of a product or brand.


Social media can be both a blessing and a curse, presenting itself as a valuable marketing tool when used wisely. However, it’s crucial to exercise caution, as a single misguided tweet or post can lead to significant backlash and negative repercussions. To foster a safer online environment for children, consider Troomi Wireless, a social media-free smartphone designed for kids. With Troomi, children can safely stay in touch with their parents while avoiding the distractions and potential pitfalls of social media. Troomi Wireless empowers parents to provide a secure digital experience for their children, striking a balance between connectivity and protecting their young ones from the potential risks of social media.

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