Is this all it takes to be a twitter star? Who was running the Governor’s office that would fall for something so stupid? Emma Sullivan had all of 60 follower when she tweeted the lie about her comments to Governor Brownback. Did they really feel that this was so abusive that they had to respond to it? Is their knowledge of the Internet so limited that they didn’t realize this would die in cyberspace like so many other random comments? And did they seriously miss the lessons from history that when you give attention to things like this that it will blow up in your face. Look at this example: Horizon Realty. There are others, but Horizon Realty is the one that springs to mind first.So the question is: Is this what she wanted or was it just an inane comment to get a little bit of attention?
Here’s the facts:
1. She lied in her tweet about actually telling the Governor he sucked to his face. Her tweet: “Just made mean comments at gov. brownback and told him he sucked, in person, #heblowsalot.”
2. The Governor’s office was stupid for making a deal out of this. She was just being a dumb teenager and they were being incredibly thin skinned.
3. The school is being stupid for trying to make her apologize. She’s getting all this attention which is exactly what she wanted in the first place.
It appears that Emma Sullivan will not have to write her apology letter after all. Her twitter followers went from 60 when she origanally lied about telling Governor Brownback that he sucked to 8,000 and counting. She posted to them:
“”I’ve decided not to write the letter but I hope this opens the door for average citizens to voice their opinion & to be heard! #goingstrong,” she tweeted – to more than 8,000 followers.”
Today, Shawnee Mission East High School in Prairie Village, Kansas, sent a statement to the NY Daily News:
“District officials have reviewed recent events surrounding the reported tweet by Shawnee Mission East High School student Emma Sullivan. The district acknowledges a student’s right to freedom of speech and expression is constitutionally protected,” the statement said.
“The district has not censored Miss Sullivan nor infringed upon her freedom of speech. She is not required to write a letter of apology to the governor. Whether and to whom any apologies are issued will be left to the individuals involved.”
Governor Brownback’s office also sent out a statement today saying:
“My staff overreacted to this tweet, and for that I apologize,” he said statement emailed to The Associated Press. “Freedom of speech is among our most treasured freedoms.”
I’m sure we’ve all learned valuable lessons from this.