Gini Dietrich

Gin and Topics: Anonymity and the F Bomb

By: Gini Dietrich | March 11, 2011 | 

I think Arik Hanson, Lisa Gerber, and I are the only people not in Austin this weekend for SXSW. Arik is turning off Foursquare updates, Lisa is turning off Facebook, and I’m turning off Twitter.

OK. Not really. Let’s be real. I’d die without Twitter, and I’m pretty sure my friends would die without their social networks. Even if we sit here and get more and more envious.

I remember being a little bit jealous last year, but it didn’t really bother me because I was traveling SO MUCH. For some reason, it’s bothering me more this year. It’s not like, you know, we have a new business launching in seven weeks.

But our jealousy is nothing compared to what we all learned when we turned on the news this morning. Our hearts and minds go out to those in Japan, Hawaii, and along the West Coast.

And now on to your regularly scheduled Gin and Topics.

5. Chrysler Loses Control of Twitter Account; Drops F Bomb. I’ve been trying to decide if I’m going to blog about this next week. Patrick Reyes keeps egging me on (maybe HE should write it!). I definitely have an opinion on it, but it’s not so much about the F bomb tweeted accidentally as it is about a client demanding an agency fire an employee. Read it and tell me what do you think. If I blog about it, I’ll include your thoughts.

4. Professors Paid by Qaddafi: Providing Positive Public Relations. As soon as Paul McConaughy sent this link to me, I knew my blood would boil. Yep. It boiled. And yours will too. Turns out Harvard faculty members were paid by the Libyan government to increase positive awareness about Qaddafi…without disclosing it.

3. Help PRSA Define Public Relations. The PR industry is under fire and Jayme Soulati is making it her mission to help PRSA define public relations, which right now reads as a publicity meme. It’s full of so much jargon, I don’t even understand what they’re trying to say. No wonder businesses can’t figure out what it is we do.

2. LinkedIn Launches Social News Site. There are two new features you should know about: Tagging your friends when you comment on Facebook (different than tagging in a status update) and LinkedIn Today. Check them both out – they’re great improvements!

1. Meet the Computer Geeks Who Are “Anonymous.” I love just about anything Vanity Fair writes – part hard news, part entertainment. I always feel much more knowledgeable when I read a story about something pressing. And this whole WikiLeaks thing is fascinating to me. Some of it I think is treasonous, while others (like the HBGary fake personas story) I think are extremely useful. Now we know who is hacking.

Tomorrow night I will be creating three or four recipes using Certified Steak & Seafood Company filet mignons and crab. Full disclosure: They sent me the meat (and yes, I’m a vegetarian), but I’m going to see what I can whip up. My friends get to be guinea pigs and hopefully I win something!

If you don’t get to come over to test the food, too bad for you! But I will post the recipes on my food blog so you can enjoy from your own kitchen.

Have a great weekend!

Always big thanks to Jennifer Hallowes for the image!

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

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59 responses to “Gin and Topics: Anonymity and the F Bomb”

  1. dino_dogan says:

    Let me start by saying fuck Chrysler. Second, you have a food blog? Thats awesome. Could that be one of your tribes? I think so… 🙂

  2. Gini, if you are not in Austin this week, well it’s their loss. They should have chosen Chicago. Peter Shankman posted he wasn’t going either, too much booze not enough Ironman training. I liked his honesty.

    The head of the London of School of Economics resigned over the ‘Quadafi scholarship’ scandal, and the fact that Saif Quadafi (the son) got a PhD from there without writing his own thesis.

    Not surprised by HBR fellows taking cash from Monitor in Boston to do a hearts and minds campaign in favor of Libya.

    Have a great weekend Gini 🙂

  3. ginidietrich says:

    @dino_dogan I think it’s horrible that first they asked the agency to fire the person who accidentally tweeted that and THEN fired the agency. I get wanting to take a stance, but how about some humanity? One little word just changed a bunch of people’s lives…likely layoffs and the sort will happen now. It was a flipping mistake. And I’m still trying to figure out the tribe thing. Food makes total sense!

  4. ginidietrich says:

    @johnfalchetto I saw that post from Shankman too and thought the same thing – good for him! You have a great weekend, too! Yours has already started.

  5. Soulati says:

    Thanks for the mui bueno link love to help with my industry mission — to define PR; egads. I’m being told it cannot happen; no one will agree. No worry. I just need one I can live with and share it on the frontlines.

    Let’s all go live on Gallactica and just, you know, insert its f-bomb.

    Saw my first SXSW Foursquare badge unlocked; who will end up as mayor?

    Stormy Mother Earth with fighting warlords and politicians — symbolism?

  6. ginidietrich says:

    @Soulati You are off your rocker! LOL!! But I fully support your mission. Baloney that it can’t happen.

  7. Soulati says:

    Oh, yeah? Off my rocker, eh? Well, I’m a flexitarian, so there. @ginidietrich

  8. HowieSPM says:

    Your food blog needs a new recipe =P LOL But looking forward to checking out what you got there!

    I don’t know why SXSW does nothing for me but it doesn’t. Would rather be in Miami for the Winter Music Conference next week or at Carnivale in Rio. When SXSW was more music oriented and just a big party that was my cup of tea but we have a gazillion techie conferences and the ‘well everyone is there’ jingle to me just doesn’t cut it. isn’t everyone at TED and Cannes Lionnes and E3 and ComicCon? Ok maybe not ComicCon….lol

    And with what happened in Japan it’s a bit solemn. Thanks for the reading list can’t wait to read about Chrysler and Anonymous.

  9. ginidietrich says:

    @HowieSPM I know! It’s hard to create new recipes when you work all week! I do a lot of kitchen testing, but never post a recipe until I feel like it’s perfect. But there will be a couple of new ones this weekend!

  10. ginidietrich says:

    @Soulati OK then!

  11. @ginidietrich My weekend is linked to PST 🙂 so no weekend yet. Yes another foodie!

  12. HowieSPM says:

    @ginidietrich Indoor Smores!

  13. faybiz says:

    can’t wait for the new foodie stuff…

    f- the man!

  14. ginidietrich says:

    @johnfalchetto Ohhhh that sucks! I’ll start my weekend before you!

  15. Lisa Gerber says:

    jaybaer called SXSW spring break for geeks. that made me laugh. Your weekend is tied to PST? @ginidietrich @johnfalchetto

  16. HowieSPM says:

    @Lisa Gerber @ginidietrich @johnfalchettoOnce something becomes too popular it loses its cache and luster for the people who started the event. Hmm kind of like what Facebook has become? lol

  17. HowieSPM says:

    @ginidietrich @dino_dogan they should of punished the person by making them drive a Chrysler! lol

  18. Lisa Gerber says:


    I am so not turning off my FB.

    The ONLY thing that will get me to turn off FB is when it’s a powder day back home.

  19. ginidietrich says:

    @Lisa Gerber LOL! And if you could figure out how to just block that from your stream, you still wouldn’t turn it off!

  20. jennwhinnem says:

    No, agency should not fire employee. Instead, take employee off the account. The end.

    (love Gin & Topics!!)

  21. ginidietrich says:

    @jennwhinnem That’s my thought EXACTLY!

  22. Lisa Gerber says:

    @ginidietrich exactly, I’d set a filter for the words: : snow, epic, and photos with snow in them.

  23. ginidietrich says:

    @Lisa Gerber And PA. Don’t forget PA!

  24. EricaAllison says:

    Ain’t that some sh** – Celo

    Well, I headed on over to the Chrysler story and then went deeper to the proper use of the F-bomb video (FU Baltimore, I think it was called) and laughed myself silly. If you haven’t seen it yet, do yourself a quick favor. It is Friday after all…and we are reading Gin & Topics.

    On a more somber note, the tsunami video – esp without audio – takes your breath away. Wow.

    And finally, SXSW is missing something this week, that’s for sure! I read that Shankman post as well and thought it was right on the money (having never attended SXSW, I’m referring to the knowing your addictions/demons/destructive behaviors part). happy weekend!

  25. patrickreyes says:

    I’ll write something. Sheesh!

  26. ginidietrich says:

    @EricaAllison I LOVE Celo! I guess my thought on SXSW is that our clients aren’t there and my time is so limited as it is, that it doesn’t make sense for me to be there. Even though most of my friends are and I’m insanely jealous! I’ll check out the FU Baltimore video!

  27. ginidietrich says:

    @patrickreyes You’re too late. Our DM debate has me thinking about it more. So I’ll write it, but you’d better be prepared to join the discussion!

  28. EricaAllison says:

    @ginidietrich You just can’t do it all!

  29. FollowtheLawyer says:

    I don’t think Danny Brown is here, so you’re in good virtual company.

  30. ginidietrich says:

    @FollowtheLawyer Woo hoo!

  31. patrickreyes says:

    @ginidietrich I’ll definitely join the discussion. I’m sure it will be lively!

  32. FollowtheLawyer says:

    @ginidietrich I’m just going to the parties.

  33. angelica7641 says:

    I have a feeling I’m quite capable of dropping the F* bomb in a similar fashion so for that (and many more reasons) I say it was way too harsh to fire the employee unless he had a bad history with the client and company. People make mistakes….give me a break.

    Can’t wait for your new recipes!

  34. ginidietrich says:

    @angelica7641 I’ve been reading more about this and it sounds like Chrysler did NOT ask the agency to fire the employee. But then they turned around and fired the agency the next day.

  35. ginidietrich says:

    @FollowtheLawyer You’ll have to let me know which are your favorite!

  36. ginidietrich says:

    @patrickreyes Have you shown anyone your power cord yet?

  37. angelica7641 says:

    Which I think is even worse if the agency made such a rash decision trying to prevent being fired by the client. @ginidietrich

  38. ginidietrich says:

    @angelica7641 That’s EXACTLY what I was thinking. That, and they talk about giving back to the community…and they just put a bunch of people out of jobs. We don’t know if the agency was on thin ice, but it sure looks bad.

  39. M_Koehler says:

    People are still offended by the fbomb? And they are offended because they saw it on the internet? As you are well aware of, I use the word way, WAY too much. It doesn’t even phase me. So I guess I do not understand what the big dealo is. And please do not get me started on SXSW or Bonnaroo or Memphis in May or Bumbershoot or ACL or any other fest that is firmly in my musical wheelhouse and I’m not allowed to attend. le sigh

  40. M_Koehler says:

    People are still offended by the fbomb? And they are offended because they saw it on the internet? As you are well aware of, I use the word way, WAY too much. It doesn’t even phase me. So I guess I do not understand what the big dealo is. And please do not get me started on SXSW or Bonnaroo or Memphis in May or Bumbershoot or ACL or any other fest that is firmly in my musical wheelhouse and I’m not allowed to attend. le sigh

  41. DannyBrown says:

    @ginidietrich @FollowtheLawyer Nope, I’m here in Canada, away from the madness. 🙂

  42. DannyBrown says:

    My take on the Chrysler thing.

    A lot of people are looking at the employee – but what about the management? They train the employee; they ensure policies are in place; they make sure employees aren’t overwhelmed by handling too many accounts at once and getting their Tweetdeck log-ins messed up.

    Yes, the employee screwed up; but the buck often doesn’t (and shouldn’t) stop there. Something NMS learned the day after.

  43. DannyBrown says:

    @ginidietrich @johnfalchetto And there was me reading that post and thinking what a self-absorbed post. Maybe I need to loosen up.

  44. HowieSPM says:

    @DannyBrown I run a twitter feed for a client (the ice cream sammies) and use Hootsuite for Droid. Two Saturdays ago I was in NYC for fun and to attend a friends art show opening. I saw a Playgirl SUV on the street in Brooklyn. 100% wrapped in Playgirl. I uploaded it to share with my friends at Humongo Agency who do a big summer road trip each year. But the little box was checked for Chunk-n-Chip and up it went. My guess is the employee was not purposefully uploading to Chrysler and was most likely expecting that tweet to be in their private account. As for the F-Bomb my comment above will prove why Chrysler’s Twitter Stream should have many of them!

  45. HowieSPM says:

    Chrysler just threw millions down the drain. All that Superbowl Buzz from their Ad with M&M and how Detroit in Bad-Ass. The Twitter Post was bad not for the F-Bomb but for the content of ridiculing detroit drivers. If you are going to pay my pansy arse sissy cry baby (my view from his first albums lyrics) foul mouthed (absolutely fact) M&M as your celeb to give you street cred you had better have F-Bombs in your twitter feed. So if I was the employee I would mention the fact they were keeping with the ‘new image’ Chrysler is promoting.

  46. ginidietrich says:

    @M_Koehler I get not wanting the F bomb on a tweet about my company – I’d be angry about that, too. What gets me is firing the employee, and then the agency, for it,

  47. ginidietrich says:

    @DannyBrown I think it’s a mistake any of us would make (as @HowieSPM points out below). But I agree with you on the management thing – it’s in our policy that you can’t swear (let alone drop the F bomb) while online. It’s just not professional. The fact that the employee did at work is an even bigger problem. So I have issues with a: Chrysler getting the kid fired, b: Chrysler firing the agency, and c: Chrysler not doing their own tweeting.

  48. ginidietrich says:

    @HowieSPM Ha!

  49. ginidietrich says:

    @DannyBrown The Shankman one? I thought it was honest and a true assessment. I think HE is self-absorbed, but it’s one post I didn’t cringe when I read it. Maybe because I live my life the same way (i.e. cheap date).

  50. DannyBrown says:

    @ginidietrich I think the first half of the post was the usual cringeworthy quality, but yeah, sharing his issues was different.

  51. FollowtheLawyer says:

    @ginidietrich @dino_dogan Begs the question as to how many engineers and parts suppliers are summarily fired when Chrysler has a recall.

    Which is the bigger offense to customers and the bottom line? An ill-considered, clumsy utterance, or selling a defective product?

  52. HowieSPM says:

    @ginidietrich @DannyBrown @johnfalchetto I have met Peter and seen him speak and have gotten to know him over the last year or so. He is genuine and nice but he lives social media. I mean LIVES it. It runs his life. He feels he has to say happy birthday to everyone who he is connected with on Facebook. He really makes the effort to respond to tweets from strangers. He really thinks we should all be transparent in everything we do whether personally or for business and be out there via Social media privacy be damned. That is how he lives! And yes I think he is a reluctant celeb who now embraces it maybe too much. BUT. Personally that life is not for me and I don’t agree with his position on transparency because he speaks for himself vs the general public.

    Speaking of Cheap Date did you make steaks last night?

  53. DannyBrown says:

    @HowieSPM @ginidietrich @johnfalchetto I must have missed that “reluctance” for his Klout party… 😉

  54. HowieSPM says:

    @DannyBrown @ginidietrich @johnfalchetto funny you bring that up. Peter tweeted about 2 weeks back he was invited to a movie premiere because of his Klout score. And I thought….is that the right move for the Movie? Yes if your movie kicks ass you want everyone knowing quickly. But if it bombs then everyone will know before it enters theaters not to go see it.

  55. DannyBrown says:

    @HowieSPM @ginidietrich @johnfalchetto Agreed, mate. I got invited to the same movie (though I didn’t feel the need to tweet about it, mind you…). Then again, if you’re a great company, you take the not-so-positive feedback and make amendments the next time (if feasible).

  56. EricaAllison says:

    @HowieSPM @DannyBrown That very same thing happened to me – the inadvertent tweet, not the Playgirl SUV sighting. I also manage a twitter feed for a client (restaurant) and they surprisingly became a Mark Schaefer fan one day – RT’d a Mark Schaefer blog post and commented about how great it was – so not what they would normally do (a misfire with my tweetdeck). Happens. I thought the same when I read about the Chrysler f-bomb snafu.

  57. @Lisa Gerber @ginidietrich I have clients in Cali so yes my weekend is linked to PST 🙂

  58. a_greenwood says:

    Interesting that as a vegetarian you will still prepare meat. I respect that! Very open minded. As for SXSW, I hate crowds. 😉

  59. ginidietrich says:

    @a_greenwood OMG! I hate crowds, too! And yes…preparing meat doesn’t bother me one bit. I’ll even taste it to be sure it’s cooked correctly. But I don’t eat it.

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