12+ Social Media Blunders That Should Never Be Repeated

With the advent of social media, everyone — especially big businesses — is pretty much expected to provide a non-stop barrage of funny and interesting tweets and Facebook posts.

But when the quantity of posts is so high, there are bound to be some missteps.

Just be glad you're not the social media person who approved these.

1. American Apparel

The PR Room | The PR Room

The 4th of July is synonymous with fireworks, so American Apparel decided to mark the occasion with...a photo of the space shuttle Challenger exploding?


It was an honest mistake — an employee thought it was a picture of fireworks — and they apologized, but the damage was done.

2. Cinnabon

The Blaze | The Blaze

When Carrie Fisher, who played Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy, passed away, Cinnabon decided to "honor" her with this tweet. Just look at it.

It's hard to fathom how nobody saw any problems with this tweet before it was sent out.

3. Delta Airlines

Consumerist | Consumerist

The airline was swelling with patriotic pride after the United States men's national soccer team scored a goal against Ghana.

They marked the occasion with this weird since-deleted tweet, where Ghana is represented by a...giraffe. Spoiler alert: giraffes aren't found anywhere near Ghana.

4. Kenneth Cole

Emarketing Blog | Emarketing Blog

File this one under "what were they thinking?".

Fashion company Kenneth Cole decided to look to the headlines for a tweet promoting their new spring collection. Unfortunately they decided to riff on the Egyptian revolution of 2011, in which hundreds of people were killed.

5. Miele

Brand DNA | Brand DNA

German appliance maker Miele chose to mark International Women's Day with an ill-conceived attempt to celebrate what makes women unique.

Apparently what makes women unique is hanging around domestic appliances. Empowering!

6. U.S. Air Force

Ad Age | Ad Age

Not a company per se, but this blunder deserves some attention. Seeking to capitalize on the viral Yanny/Laurel weird audio thing, the USAF decided to make fun of deadly serious subject matter.

7. StubHub

Adweek | Adweek

Leaving work on Friday is a great feeling. It's just unfortunate that StubHub's social media person was so obscenely happy about it that they threw down this tweet. StubHub sounds like a great place to work!

8. Chrysler

Jalopnik | Jalopnik

The automaker sent out a tweet a few years back that would be pretty standard fare from a personal Twitter account. But this wasn't a personal account, it was Chrysler. They quickly fired their PR firm.

9. Dove

Twitter | @blackgalsmagic

They're all for body positivity, but that doesn't explain this video clip that was meant to promote body wash that, uh, shows a black woman transforming into a white woman.

They later admitted that they "missed the mark."

Twitter | @SoCurlyLorena

Dove explained that the video was meant to show that their product was for every woman and to be a "celebration of diversity."

But many were still outraged, taking to social media to air their grievances. Some individuals even vowed to boycott the brand.

10. Wendy's

Twitter | @colinjones

Wendy's is known for their savage social media burns, but sometimes they go too far. Case in point: repurposing (white supremacy and hate group mascot) Pepe the Frog as Wendy's logo.

11. McDonald's

Twitter | @McDonaldsCorp

McD's isn't quite the social media juggernaut that Wendy's is, and they proved it last year with a Black Friday placeholder tweet that really wasn't quite ready for primetime yet.

Even Wendy's came in with a savage response to their competitor's editing mistake.

Twitter | @Wendys

Ouch, Wendy's. Considering your own social media fail, you should maybe be on watch.

At least the mega fast food chain has a sense of humor.

It's true. Being a functioning human being does not exist without coffee first thing in the morning, and I think we can all relate.

12. Yahoo

Reddit | Zee666

A little meme can go a long way, but your best practice for advertising might not include using another company's service in your joke. Weird to think that not even Yahoo used Yahoo.

13. Bic

Twitter | @Alice59067214

The year was 2015. The day was Women's Day. The tweet was this offensive mess. Why they ever thought this would fly as an encouraging message is far beyond my understanding.

14. IndiGo

Reddit | grubernack276

I know that sarcasm can be a bit tough to pick up on through text, but is geography really that hard as well? You're an airline, it's pretty important to know a bit about locations or at least read a complaint fully. And that's not sarcasm.

15. Poshmark

Reddit | neovir

Wow, what a deal, huh? Only $20 for that half of a grape! This was probably just a test for their ad page, but imagine the disappointed customer that couldn't take advantage of that sweet deal.

16. Amtrak

Reddit | [deleted]

@porkbelt was right when pointing this out — for as beautiful and inspirational as that Emerson quote is, it's probably not the best way to advertise your train service.

17. Sears

Reddit | doriangreat

They sure seemed speedy with the reply — if only they were that quick to, you know, actually fix the problem? That's just adding salt to the wound, right there.

18. Subaru

Reddit | vyr0e

They get an A for effort, but they botched the execution. I'm sure Scherer's pic is simply beautiful, but you can't help us for feeling a bit lost when, well, it's just missing entirely.

19. Southern Rail

Reddit | molotovs

Grammar is incredibly important, folks, especially on the internet! Remember, it's the difference between saying, "Let's eat, Grandma!" and "Let's eat Grandma!" That last one is pretty terrifying.

20. Whole Foods

Twitter | @jennyyangtv

When this grocery store decided to start a restaurant called "Yellow Fever" in Long Beach, California — a city with a large Asian-American population — it understandably caused a significant backlash.

21. Ihop

Twitter | @AstroKatie

The pancake joint decided to liven up its social media with tweets that used body-shaming language to describe their pancakes. I wonder whose idea it was to compare pancakes to breasts.

22. Splenda

Reddit | 7aane

Splenda was trying to defend its safety record and debunk false claims...but they kinda-sorta totally undid their entire message with the meme accompanying their tweet. Talk about a self-own.

23. Jeremy Scott

Instagram | @itsjeremyscott

Fashion designer Jeremy Scott really leaned into the whole issue of immigration with an "Illegal alien" brand campaign. His post indicates that his heart was in the right place, but this one missed the mark.

24. Cheerios

Twitter | @Foodmancing

The death of singing legend Prince shocked everyone around the world. Fans were particularly angry with Cheerios' tribute, who still found a way to push their brand in the name of tragedy.

25. POTUS Donald Trump

USA Today

Donald Trump is known to say some wild things on Twitter, but everyone will remember this iconic moment in Twitter history.

Will we ever truly know what "covfefe" is?

26. Tinder

According to CNN, the people over at Tinder got a little defensive over a Vanity Fair article about modern dating that didn't even mention the company.

In a long series of Tweets, the dating app company slammed the magazine. but later apologized for overreacting.

27. Wendy's...Again

When one skeptical user commented on the fast food company's Tweet questioning the freshness of their beef, things got a little snippy and sassy between the parties involved.

28. Tesco

This Tweet by the British supermarket chain seems all fine and dandy. However, it's maybe not the most timely phrase, given they were under fire for allegedly selling beef dishes made with horse meat.

29. Urban Outfitters

The ultra trendy clothing and home decor retailer thought that Hurricane Sandy would be a great time to do some casual marketing. Is there any moment that is free from advertising?

30. GAP

Twitter | @TheMediaTweets

GAP got hit with similar criticism when they Tweeted that they'd be using the storm as an excuse to do some shopping.

It's safe to say, people were not very happy about the insensitivity.

They later issued an apology, but still seem to miss the point of all the criticism.

These companies really need to work on their editing!