Vancouver councillor apologizes for Twitter message
Douglas Quan , ctvbc.ca
Published Friday, October 30, 2009 9:34PM PDT
A Vancouver city councillor says she has apologized to B.C.'s housing minister after posting a Twitter message poking fun at his weight.
Vision Vancouver Councillor Andrea Reimer said she was upset after Rich Coleman introduced legislation on Thursday that would allow police officers to force homeless people to go to shelters during extreme weather.
In a Twitter posting, Reimer wrote: "Thinking about introducing a motion requiring police to pick up Minister Coleman next time in Vancouver and dropping him off at Jenny Craig."
Reimer told CTV British Columbia's Renu Bakshi Friday that she regretted posting the message and gave Coleman an "unequivocal apology."
"I don't know that it was all that thoughtful. It was an inappropriate remark. I've taken it down and sent an apology to the minister."
Reimer added: "Certainly I would hope we keep civility in public policy making. I would hate the thought that it detracts from the issue and the issue is quite an important one to be debating on its merits."
A spokesman for Coleman told ctvbc.ca Friday the minister is in meetings all day.
Jenn Lowther, director of social media at 6S Marketing in Vancouver, said that when people write an email or letter, they'll typically re-read it before sending it.
But people tend to take a more casual attitude when posting tweets or status updates.
That can be dangerous.
"Email is only going to the person you're sending it to. Twitter is inherently open to the world," she told ctvbc.ca.
"Once it's out there, it's out there."
She said there have been countless examples of individuals who tweeted when they should've thought twice.
An advertising agent who was visiting a high-profile client got off a plane and sent a Twitter message, saying, "If I had to live here I'd want to shoot myself."
The client found out about the message. He lost his job.
In California, a woman sent out a Twitter posting announcing that she had just been offered a job that paid great, but the "job sucks."
The company found out and told her she wouldn't need to show up for work.
Lowther said if you're angry about something, it's best you save your message as a draft and wait five minutes and re-read it.
Once it's out there, "You can't take it back."