WPLG social media

Photo via WPLGLocal10/Twitter

Bad social media person poorly handles online response to rape story

This is a master class in how not to handle a situation online.


David Covucci

Internet Culture

Posted on Mar 6, 2017   Updated on May 24, 2021, 9:39 pm CDT

It’s always bad to do bad tweets, but it’s especially bad to do bad tweets when you are the front-facing social media director for a news organization that is receiving backlash for the way you positioned a story about sexual assault.

But the social media director at WPLG Local 10 News is in trouble after doing just that.

It started when they posted a news story about a man arrested for allegedly having sex with an incapacitated woman.

INCAPACITATED SEX ARREST – A man having sex with an incapacitated woman in the middle of the day on a South Florida beach has been arrested.

Posted by WPLG Local 10 on Friday, March 3, 2017

Although factually accurate, stories like this have been a point of contention for women, because they assert that framing these stories with softer, more passive language–instead of saying “rape” or “sexual assault”—is a way of minimizing the crimes committed.

A writer on Twitter pointed that out.

What the social media person running @WPLGLocal10 probably should have done was nothing. Or said, “Thank you, we are looking into it.”

That’s not what they did, though. Instead, they mocked Lipscomb for that.

wplg twitter jessica lipscomb
Image via WPLG/Twitter

Yea that is about as big a “NOPE” as you can perform online.

Probably best to keep your head down after that.

Or not, apparently.


jessica lipscomb twitter wplg
Image via WPLG/Twitter

The article online has been updated after this, and according to the site’s Twitter account, their social media person has been disciplined.

The bad tweets, as they should be, have been deleted.

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*First Published: Mar 6, 2017, 1:27 pm CST