It’s Bigger Than Ashton

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If you weren’t paying attention to anything but important news today you might not have noticed that Ashton Kutcher had turned over his tweeting privileges to the social media division of his company Katalyst Media. “But why?,” you ask, because it’s late and you’re wasting time on the Internet even though you’re super busy or should be sleeping.

Well because Kutcher, who has about eight million more followers than you or I ever will, tweeted out something without thinking last night and, because they’re a bunch of maladjusted ugly troll people, the media pounced on him — because he’s pretty. And more importantly because what he said was really really stupid; he wondered why Penn State coach Joe Paterno  was fired, when the reason he was fired was like, everywhere on Twitter. Dude, where’s my excuse?

We’re all trigger happy when it comes to social media. I tweet and text the wrong people insane shit at all hours of the night just because I have the technology  — true confession (IHTM). And herein lies the trouble with Twitter; You (and Rep. Anthony Weiner) think it’s like texting, not realizing that your intelligible only-in-context tweet/text/whatever is now broadcast to an audience of 40K or 8 million of your closest followers. This explains Ashton’s admittedly ignorant tweet, and this other tweet of his, and some of my tweets and some of your tweets if you’re being honest with yourself.

We’re human! Pobody’s nerfect.

Earlier today I asked our new fancy Facebook sociologist writer Josh Constine, who went to Stanford so you know he’s smart because I got rejected from there, “Like what’s up with that?” about this whole mess. He said, “It’s bigger than Ashton,” explaining that because the act of tweeting was so much like texting it was more prone to human error than let’s say the act of posting to Facebook or LinkedIn. For the record I’ve never booty LinkedIn-messaged anyone.

But wait, before this gets out of hand, let’s all take a second to reflect on the Huffington Post’s seminal piece “Fired Over Twitter: 13 Tweets That Got People CANNED” or something. Bish please, that “canned” is in ALL CAPS so you know it’s IMPORTANT.

Despite the clear risk of unfettered communication, by relinquishing editorial control over his feed to a collective process Ashton is playing it way safe. He basically ran back to the comfortable confines of old media, an act which was very “un-Internet” of him, I guess.

“As of immediately I will stop tweeting until I find a way to properly manage this feed,” he wrote, “I feel awful about this error. Won’t happen again.” His solution was to hand Katalyst Media the keys to his social media kingdom, so it can vet his tweets or something, which sounds so sad. I’d rather have someone mess up every three months than be boring.

I’ve never particularly been a fan of Kutcher, but I’m a pretty big fan of self-expression, even if you screw up big time. The most brilliant people are totally hated yo. Ashton, it’s not your fault that Twitter, and society, wasn’t prepared for such a disparate “one to many” ratio. So even if you were stupid and pressed send too soon, there is no Facebook or Twitter post you can’t recover from. So do it, please. You owe all those people who pressed ‘Follow’ under a certain pretense at least that.

Image: @Aplusk