Twitter, according to infallible resource Wikipedia, was launched on July 15, 2006, and as near as I can tell debuted as a way for politically-affiliated people to embarrass themselves in 2009 with Meghan McCain’s boobs:
(Mind you, I have nothing against Meghan McCain’s boobs, and honestly think the only people embarrassing themselves were the ones who criticized the photo — she’s holding a book about Andy Warhol, for crying out loud; clearly this is a post-modern critique of the constructionalist role of celebrity as art, using social media as both medium and message, and the Huffington Post’s eagerness to carry the story [so that they could use a boob shot as the page's default image] is simply part of the installation.
Or that’s what my thesis will say, anyway.)
But, if I can rip your eyes away from Ms. McCain for a moment, Twitter has since firmly (heh, firm) established itself as the way to end your political career for discriminating B-list talk show personalities. Most recently the Romney campaign is taking flak for hiring Richard Grenell and his legacy of misogynist tweets, but many were there before him and many will be there after him.
Which brings us to today’s game!
The “Could You Run for Political Office?” Twitter Game
1) Pull up Twitter and view your own account (public posts only)
2) Scroll through the last six months or 1000 tweets, whichever comes first (even tabloid journalists get bored eventually, so anything before that is probably safe)
3) Score any posts, links, and retweets that could potentially become cable news fodder as follows:
- 1 point for linking to hateful or scandalous third-party content with no comment
- 2 points for linking to hateful/scandalous third-party content with an approving comment
- 2 points for re-tweeting someone else’s hateful/scandalous tweet
- 5 points for posting your own original hateful/scandalous tweet
- 10 points for inappropriate videos/images of yourself
- +5 points for anything honest-to-god shocking rather than just cable-news-shocking (racial slurs, admitting or alluding to serious crimes, etc.)
- Multiply all the above by the amount of re-tweets they garnered
Thus, a hateful comment that you wrote (in reply to someone else’s link, perhaps) but that never got re-tweeted earns you 5 points total, while re-tweeting something awful from your favorite radio shock-jock that then gets retweeted by twelve of your followers earns 24 points.
Only score for retweets from your account (in other words, if you retweet something hateful from a third party, don’t score people who retweeted directly from the source or from someone else’s account)
Obviously, you do not need to score scandalous content that you were condemning in your tweet. Use half-points judiciously if you’re not sure something quite counts as scandalous (though in general, if you have to ask, it’s probably bad enough that a cable host with an axe to grind could use it).
0 – 10 points: You can clean that up in no time. Why are you even on Twitter?
11 – 100 points: You need to make your feed private and let your staff comb it before you announce, but you should be fine.
101 – 500 points: Your campaign has cause for concern. Delete your feed and lay low for a good long while before coming anywhere near the press. Let the staff make a new one for you eventually, and let them manage all the content.
501 – 1000 points: You should not be allowed anywhere near a political campaign. Even if you get rid of the tweets no PR consultant worth his/her salary will believe that you haven’t left other disasters-to-be floating around the internet somewhere. Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?
1000+ points: Typical GOP House freshman.
And that’s the game. Give it a try and let us know how you did in the comments!
For my part, it’s mostly just links to MA101 dragging me down — take those out and I’ve only got 21 points in the last six months. If we count the links that shoots up to 61, still totally manageable but getting into dangerous territory if anyone starts retweeting the wrong links.
So…is your Twitter campaign-ready?