When it comes to working in social media, a public gaffe is always one little click away. One person at The Weather Channel learned that lesson the hard way on Monday in an incident involving the cable network’s mobile app and a Fort Worth, Texas city councilman.
The Dallas Morning News reported that it all started when Councilman Joel Burns tweeted at The Weather Channel asking them to fix a mistake in their app that showed the Dallas skyline when users looked up the weather in Fort Worth.
The request is perhaps a bit threatening, but it’s an actual error that The Weather Channel should have just addressed. But alas, whoever was at the helm of The Weather Channel’s Twitter account would not let Burns escape unscathed.
When Burns, who is an advocate for LGBT rights and has famously spoken out against bullying, followed up his first tweet with a screenshot showing that he had deleted the app, The Weather Channel tried to hit him where it hurts.
@JoelBurns Sorry to see you go. Good luck on ending bullying.— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) May 12, 2014
Burns didn’t bite. He took the high road, complimented the shot, and let his followers take care of the rest (hint: they were not so kind).
It didn’t take long for the pressure to get a result: The Weather Channel apologized roughly two hours after the whole incident started.
.@JoelBurns we apologize for our reply this morning. Our response was inappropriate & we're taking steps to ensure it doesn't happen again.— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) May 12, 2014
There you have it folks, a neatly packed two-hour lesson on how not to behave when you control your company’s social media accounts. The Dallas Morning News report said that in addition the apology, Burns is asking The Weather Channel to donate $100,000 to the Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network and The Trevor Project.
According to a report from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Burns is actually retiring from the city council in May to pursue a Mid-Career Master in Public Administration at Harvard’s Kennedy School.