The rise of the online idiots

WHEN I’m looking for stories to write about, there’s no greater feeling than when people act like idiots online. It’s like they’re just handing me the content on a digital platter.

Three brands are up the proverbial creek this week, two due to misguided tweets, and one thanks to a video that’s doing the rounds on the web.

The FA are first on the list of corporate gaffes, as they tweeted that the England women’s football team, who won bronze at the recent World Cup, could “go back to being mothers, partners and daughters” now that they have returned home. Eeesh.


Unsurprisingly, the tweet gained a lot of criticism across social media for the portrayal of female athletes as anything but, with a lot of people accusing the FA of blatant sexism.

Despite the fact that the FA insist that the tweet was taken out of context, and it was part of a wider story about the personal stories within the squad, it has since been deleted, as has the same mention in an article on the FA website.

The second brand, which took a bit of a bashing from consumers this week, was Benefit Cosmetics. Despite being a company which has traditionally appeared to be in support of women of all shapes and sizes, the Twitter team for the BenefitUK account thought it would be a good idea to jump on the #MakeAMovieAFatty hashtag.



Fans and followers were not impressed, accusing the brand of body-shaming those of a larger stature.

Again, the tweets have since been deleted, but like moths to a flame, some people just know when to reach for the screen grab feature. The US team were quick to apologise as well, saying that they don’t believe this is an accurate representation of their brand.

Finally (and thanks to PR professional Rich Leigh for bringing this story to my attention), HSBC have had to fire six members of staff this week, after a video appeared online showing them to take part in a mock IS style killing. I’m just going to give you a little time to digest that. My first thought when things like this crop up is sheer amazement that anyone thought this could possibly be a good idea in the first place.


Not only were the people in the video all employees at HSBC, but they were actually on a team building day at a go-karting centre when it happened. It beggars belief.

After the video was brought to the attention of HSBC by The Sun newspaper, they made the unsurprising decision to sack all the individuals involved.

So the moral of the story here is to think before you post or upload. I always go by the rule that if I have any doubt in my mind whatsoever, it’s probably not a good idea to put it out there.



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Iona St Joseph

Written by Iona St Joseph

PR exec who likes finding funnies and cool stuff online. Print journalism graduate.

  • Margator

    None of this stuff matters though, does it? The media is vanishing up its own arse.

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