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Ashton Kutcher and the Perils of Celebrity Tweeting
By: Shawn Paul Wood
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Those caught up in the wake of the Penn State imbroglio continues. Gurgling on the tidal wave now is Ashton Kutcher, formerly the "King" of Twitter.

It was a mild-mannered evening a couple of nights ago, when the Board of Trustees with Penn State University captured the airwaves, everywhere. You'd think President Obama had a word to share. The word from the Board was that Joe Paterno was fired, effective immediately. Now, I'll save the rant for how I feel about the goings-on in Not-So-Happy Valley for those who love me and won't take my words as a declaration of war. Suffice it to say, I smiled.

And I tweeted a few times as well. However, I'm a nobody in the Twitterverse. Unlike the aforementioned Kutcher, who apparently tweeted:

“How do you fire Jo Pa? #insult #noclass as a hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste,” the tweet said. Later on, Kutcher tweeted, “Heard Joe was fired, fully recant previous tweet!” and “Didn’t have full story. #admitwhenYoumakemistakes.”

With 8.2 million followers, awareness and responsibility should take precedent over vitriol and jonesin' for college football. It didn't. Evidently, Ashton is so busy taping his camera commercials and CBS episodes that he has forgotten to read a paper, turn on a TV or log, on the Web for the past week. Seriously? He didn't know about the biggest college football scandal in the history of ever?! The barrage at @aplusk was relentless. It seemed those hooligans who couldn't flip a TV truck or take down a light pole in person tweeted Ashton Kutcher with angst, and in record fashion.

Kutcher has apparently reconsidered Twitter since then. According to the US story:

On Thursday, Kutcher tweeted a link to his blog, where he announced that he was handing over "management of the feed over to my team at Katalyst as a secondary editorial measure, to ensure the quality of this content."

Since then, Kutcher has apologized. A lot. And although he seems very genuine about the Twitter flub, many still think he's a twit like the rest of famous folk who think they can tweet whatever they want, get busted, and then blame it on a cousin that lives in Canada hacking into their loved one's account for 15 seconds of fame. People are celebridrunk. They can't get enough of Bieber, Gaga, and Kutcher, who was the first person to go over 1 million followers. If anyone should have known the pipe bomb he possessed, it should have been him. The ironic part (and sad too) is that he — with estranged cougar wife Demi Moore — founded the DNA Foundation, which stands up against child trafficking (another charge in the litany against the seed of Satan, Jerry Sandusky).

Leave it to a guy who went to seminary to use the Bible to make a point, but here it is:

But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more. (Luke 12:48 ESV)

Celebrities, athletes, and even top-wielding CEOs need to take notice. You don't need a team of ghostbloggers and ghosttweeters to vet your every missive. You need common sense. That follower count you have says much has been given to you. Regretfully, most people are sheep and they are under the impression that you top folk are smarter, more astute, and in dire need of an audience wherever you go.

Consider John Mayer, who was flogged on Twitter for using the "n-word" in a Playboy interview. He later quit Twitter, publicly. In March, Gilbert Gottfried tweeted jokes about tsunami-ravaged Japan (Aflac fired him as their spokesperson). And most recently, the ironically surnamed Anthony Weiner became a Twitter joke when his Congressional member became national news.

Here's a thought: As my dad used to say, "Stick with the ugly girl that brought you to the dance." You people are famous for a reason, and odds are it is not because of your ancillary beliefs in politics, relationships, or even football. Ashton got a beating, but it could have been avoided. He was given much but it required much, and if that includes being caught up on current events, then that's not too big of a price to pay. I would imagine the PR hit Kutcher's personal brand is experiencing is worth the investment. I'd say ask him, but now you have to go through his agent.


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About the Author
Shawn Paul Wood is a hack-turned-flack with more than 20 years of collective journalism, copywriting and marketing communications experience. Shawn Paul is founder of Woodworks Communications in Dallas, Texas. If you need him, ping him here or follow him on Twitter @ShawnPaulWood
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