36.9k voters

22 Inappropriate Tweets That Totally Backfired

Updated June 14, 2019 177.9k votes 36.9k voters 3.2m views22 items

List RulesVote up the tweets that make you physically sick with vicarious embarrassment.

Nothing beats dumb tweets (especially horrible tweets from celebrities). We live in an age where everyone feels the need to be on Twitter, either to market their brand or express their thoughts. But so many people are just terrible at it.

It's surprising that so many companies and individuals still don't understand how much backlash they can face for posting something insensitive or offensive. So, here are the most groan-worthy Twitter fails ever. Every one of them will make you cringe, and will make you wonder what the person behind the tweet was thinking. Some of them may have had good intentions, but ultimately they were tweets that backfired horrifically for the person or company involved. A lot of them have never recovered from the embarrassment. 

  • 1

    Twitter User Garbutted Made A Joke About A Missing Teenage Girl

    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY

    Back in 2015, West Midlands Police sent out a tweet asking for help to find a missing 15-year-old girl. In horrible taste, a man with the username @Garbutted replied to the tweet saying: "If I find her I'll r*pe her."

    He meant it as a "joke," but the police took him quite seriously. They told him they were passing on his information to higher authorities. The man quickly apologized and said he wasn't being serious, but soon had to delete his account because of the incident. 

    Are you cringing?
  • 2

    Justine Sacco's Tweet Created Worldwide Drama For 11 Hours

    Photo: flickr / CC0


    The story of how Justine Sacco's one tweet became a worldwide sensation is truly incredible. In 2014, the then 30-year-old PR director posted the above (mind-meltingly insensitive) tweet before boarding a plane to Africa. She landed 11 hours later as one of the most hated women on the planet.

    People across the internet banded together to call her racist, and demand she get terminated from her job. You'd think that someone who works in PR would have a better idea of what jokes are safe to make.

    Normally, when you tweet something regrettable, you can instantly delete it when you realize your mistake. Sacco didn't have the chance, however, because of her 11-hour flight. As the hours crawled on, so did the furor over the tweet, and the excitement over what would happen to her when she realized the entire internet was against her. The hashtag #HasJustineLandedYet began to trend worldwide.

    When she finally hit the ground, she deleted the tweet (and her account, for good measure), but it was too late. She released an apology statement and cut her vacation short, but was soon fired from her job.


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  • Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY

    Following the horrific Aurora shooting incident in 2012, an editor at The Wall Street Journal by the name of James Taranto tweeted out this doozy. It obviously didn't go over well. He faced immediate backlash over his tweet, but the stubborn journalist stuck to his guns.

    He called his tweet challenging, and started re-tweeting his positive and negative replies. He never apologized for the insensitive nature of his tweet, but he did later call it "ill-considered." 

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  • 4

    It's Not A Serious Domestic Violence Issue, It's DiGiorno

    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY

    When Janay Palmer returned to Ray Rice after the infamous video leaked of him knocking her unconscious in an elevator, thousands of people took to Twitter using the hashtag #WhyIStayed to show their support for Palmer.

    Among the tweets detailing intensely personal stories of domestic abuse, DiGiorno Pizza used it to promote their pizza. It's a classic instance of a brand not realizing why a hashtag is trending, and using it anyway. Of course, the company quickly apologized when it realized its mistake. 

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