The EPA Is A Kim Kardashian Fan – According To Twitter

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EPA tweetThe United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) mission is to protect human health and the environment. Their EPA Water Twitter account, however, didn’t portray that mission Monday night.

“I’m now a C-List celebrity in Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. Come join me and become famous too by playing on iPhone!”

The tweet was public for nearly three hours before being deleted. But not before being retweeted almost 3,000 times. Soon, others in the Twitter-sphere took notice of the uncharacteristic tweet.

U.S. Representative John Dingell of Michigan responded with this:

John Dingell Response Tweet

Alex Kantrowitz, staff reporter at the Advertisement Age responded with a bit more humor.

Alexs Response Tweet

Of course, Glu Games, creator of the app, noticed and replied with a whitty “thank you.”

Glu Games Response Tweet

After all was said and done, however, the EPA tweeted an apology to its followers:

EPA apology tweet

Liz Purchia, a spokeswoman for the EPA, also sent a statement to USA Today.

Purchia said: “An EPA fellow inadvertently triggered an auto-generated tweet. She regrets the error and has been advised on the sensitivities of using social media.”

We have discussed some of the reasons we dislike pre-scheduled and auto-generated Tweets, and we will add applications that automatically push updates to your timelines.


What is the app in question? Kim Kardashian: Hollywood is a new mobile app that allows users to create a cyber-version celebrity of themselves. Users work their way up the rungs of Hollywood becoming an A-List celebrity all while having Kardashian as a mentor.

An analysis of the app predicts it will earn $200 million in revenue by the end of the year.

Was the twitter account hacked, or was it a case of mistaken posting by an employee?

Situations like this have occurred various times. Burger King’s account fell victim to hackers earlier this year. The account was transformed to mirror that of a McDonald’s account. jc penney tweet

J.C. Penney’s Twitter account made a splash during this year’s Super Bowl. If you remember, the clothing brand pushed out tweets with grammatical errors confusing the general public. Eventually, they admitted the tweets were staged. It was an attempt to create buzz about the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. The person tweeting appeared to be “wearing” mittens- therefore causing the errors. Others, however, speculated the account was releasing drunken tweets.

Rumored to be an ad agency employee mixing up personal and brand twitter accounts, Chrysler pushed out a tweet offending many. It read, “I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to [explicit] drive.” The tweet was quickly removed and replaced with an apology, and a very public firing of the agency employee.

What can be learned from these examples? Remain cautious while posting online. Little slip-ups can damage your company’s reputation and land you a spot in history, and not the good kind of history. You don’t want to be the company everyone refers to when talking about social media fails. At Firestorm, as a rule, we do not use the same applications (and for some, devices) for business social accounts as we do for personal.

Firestorm has identified the 5 Common Failures in a Crisis. One is the lack of training employees. For the EPA, training and the social media policy needs to be revisited or reevaluated.

That’s why we’re here. Next time, let’s avoid the crisis instead of being forced to respond after the fact.

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