Diane Sawyer’s big #fail

Did the ABC anchor start tweeting too late?


Fernando Alfonso III


Posted on Jul 9, 2011   Updated on Jun 3, 2021, 4:04 am CDT

Diane Sawyer has finally broken her Twitter silence. Yet her tweeting debut might have come too late.

The ABC World News anchor sent her first tweet Friday promoting a tweetup scheduled during her exclusive two-hour taped interview Sunday with Jaycee Dugard, the California woman kidnapped and held in captivity for 18 years.

As part of the tweetup, ABC has asked people to direct questions to Sawyer with the hashtag #JayceeABC, which she will answer during the show.

While Sawyer has collected about 6,000 followers since her first tweet, it has done little to get the Dugard conversation started.

Hardly any questions have been asked using the hashtag and people—and by people I mean mostly ABC and its cronies—are instead using it to publicize the broadcast. Just check out these tweets from Richard Lanzara, Lauren McMillen and Ben Sherwood and you’ll get the idea. And lets not forget the eight or so tweets from @ABCNewsPR in the last 12 hours and countless others from ABC and its affiliates.

One could argue that Sawyer is better late than never in signing up for Twitter. Yet she and her network wasted countless opportunities to build a following on the service and engage with viewers. When she picked a fight with the fictional character Sue Sylvester from the TV show Glee, for example, she tweeted from the @ABCWorldNews account instead of her own.

With hours to go before Sawyer’s special airs, time will tell if ABC’s last-minute social media blitz sufficed. Needless to say, if the questions don’t appear, it wasn’t for lack of trying.

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*First Published: Jul 9, 2011, 8:44 pm CDT