Social Media Blog

Trump’s image retweeting fails: Lessons to learn

Posted by Rita Khodeir on 27 Oct 2015

American Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, has recently raised eyebrows, retweeting seemingly genuine tweets only for users to point out the error of his ways.

Trump’s fails

The first major scandal occurred late last year when renowned twitter troll @feckhead contacted Trump: “My parents who passed away always said you were a big inspiration. Can you please RT for their memory?” Trump happily obliged. Unfortunately, the image actually featured notorious serial killers, Fred and Rose West. 

Given the sheer scale of the #socialmediafail, the twittersphere filled with new tweets further humiliating Trump. Sadly for @OffencePolice’s, his brother, Freddy, didn’t receive any moral support from Trump.

Trump it appeared, had not learnt from his retweet mishap and repeated his mistake. After receiving heavy criticism for controversial remarks regarding a Vietnam veteran, Trump retweeted @ConnorBaldwin21’s “My bad ass Vietnam vet dad has balls too which is why he’s voting Trump!”

Helpful Twitter users broke the news to Trump that the picture he had retweeted was of Jeffrey Macdonald, a former US army officer and convicted murderer serving three life sentences.  

Top four tips when retweeting images

So, while Trump may not have learnt the first time around, here are some lessons we can remember when retweeting images:

  1. Do your research! A free and quick image search from Google would have revealed to Trump (or his social media team) that the images were attached to negative high-profile news stories
  2. Avoid uncertainty – If you can’t verify the validity of an image, it is best not to post it
  3. Consider the potential liability to your business – Aligning your business with certain images has the potential to attract unwanted legal proceedings. For example retweeting an image may be considered defamatory so it’s important to consider the repercussions of your actions. At the very least, images can damage your reputation
  4. Learn from your mistakes – If there is one massive lesson to take from Trump’s retweeting mishaps, it’s to learn from your mistakes.

If you’re unsure about an image and how to prevent your business experiencing a #socialmediafail, contact our Social Media and Digital Law Team: