Oprah gets in Twitter trouble

Oprah Winfrey just wanted some folks to watch her show. But when she suggested via Twitter that people change their channels, she violated an Neilsen rule. 


Jordan Valinsky


Published Feb 13, 2012   Updated Mar 3, 2020, 8:37 am CST

Oprah Winfrey isn’t living her best life on Twitter today.

The queen of talk looked desperate last night for encouraging viewers with Nielsen rating boxes to flip over from the Grammy’s telecast to her own show on her struggling cable network, OWN.

“Every 1 who can please turn to OWN especially if u have a Neilsen box,” she tweeted last night—even misspelling Nielsen. The tweet has since been deleted although Business Insider has a screen shot of it.

Nielsen, which measures network viewership (on which they base advertising rates), asked Winfrey to delete the tweet since it violates its rules in which it bans subscribers to its service from influencing or forcing people’s viewing habits.

In Nielsen’s ratings log, last night’s episode, Oprah’s Next Chapter, will have a note saying “possible biasing effect,” according to the New York Times.

“I removed the tweet at the request of Nielsen. I intended no harm and apologize for the reference.” Winfrey told the New York Times.  She has not tweeted today.

Nielsen’s crackdown on the media titan led some Twitter users to crack jokes at her expense.

“How powerful is Nielsen? Well Oprah tweets to ask Nielsen homes specifically to watch OWN. She gets in big trouble and apologizes. #TVEmpire,” tweeted Alex Porter.

TVbytheNumbers tweeted “In TV land, there are powers even higher than Oprah…”

Today we learned it is Nielsen.

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*First Published: Feb 13, 2012, 6:25 pm CST