Scheduling tweets to post later can be convenient, but it’s not always the best idea.
Several hours after the Colorado movie theater shooting, the American Rifleman, an official journal for the National Rifle Association (NRA) tweeted the following to more than 6,000 followers: “Good morning, shooters. Happy Friday! Weekend plans?”
The tweet was posted using social media management tool HootSuite, which allows users to schedule tweets in advance. It was eventually deleted, though social media search engine Topsy cached it. The @NRA_Rifleman Twitter account was deleted later Friday afternoon.
The @NRA_Rifleman account has posted similar tweets on weekday mornings for months, all of which are posted using HootSuite.
Here’s a sample of some of the tweets critical of the NRA and the journal:
“Gonna catch up on news before making inappropriate tweets. You? RT @NRA_Rifleman: Good morning, shooters. Happy Friday! Weekend plans?” — Shane Hudak
“I’ll be mourning a dozen dead people I never knew! Fuck you! RT @NRA_Rifleman Good morning, shooters. Happy Friday! Weekend plans?” — Cord Jefferson
“Well, once again @NRA_Rifleman proves why pre-scheduling tweets and leaving your account on auto-pilot is a horrible idea.” — Adam Schweigert
“The @NRA really, really needs to figure out its social media strategy. Or come back from vacation and turn off the robot.” — Kate Gardiner
The offending tweet followed another coincidental tweet from Thursday evening, which linked to an article about gun mistakes in movies.
Friday’s unfortunate tweet was reportedly sent by someone who was unaware of the shooting.
“A single individual, unaware of events in Colorado, tweeted a comment that is being completely taken out of context,” NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam told CNN.
Photo by Francis Storr