• Keyserholiday

    Not sure their direct apologies did what the meant to do. Copy and pasting the same message over and over misses the point, plus the term
    Seemed insensitive, negates the apology. I don’t see how turn off an automated tweet sweet would have prevented this at all. Sadly it will happen again.

  • http://www.brickmarketing.com/ Nick Stamoulis

    There is a very big difference between newsjacking a hot story and trying to turn a tragedy into a promotion. I live and work in Boston and we are doing the best we can to carry on with business as usual (or as usual as we can get it) and while not being able to stop a few auto-send messages right away isn’t the end of the world (provided you catch the next batch) Epicurious crossed the line.

  • http://markfrisk.com/ Mark Frisk

    I don’t understand how Epicurious’s misguided, bad-taste tweets have anything to do with scheduling tools. Unless I’m missing something, the tweets were an utterly tone-deaf attempt to tie in to the Boston tragedy, not tweets that were placed in the queue BEFORE the bombings. Why would Epicurious schedule those tweets to post the DAY AFTER the marathon? Day of? Sure. Day after? Doesn’t make sense.

    P.S. Don’t mean to give the scheduled post concept short shrift. SocialFlow, Buffer and the like are tools that precisely enable scheduled-post faux pas. It’s nice that both companies issued alerts, but at the end of the day these are just tools, and the responsibility for using them properly falls completely on the people who are using them.

  • Matt McGee

    As I say in the article, Mark, I have no idea if these were scheduled tweets. Agree with you that they probably weren’t.

    The story is about the overall issue of brand-based social media during tragedies, not just about Epicurious. That’s why I mention the previous cases of mistakes and how Buffer and SocialFlow tried to proactively help their users from making the kind of mistakes that Epicurious and the others made.

  • http://twitter.com/ZeusofMarketing ZeusofMarketing

    Seriously? At this point it makes you wonder
    if they did it on purpose just to gain attention. Never mind the poor
    execution – it’s just a sick strategy

  • Bridget

    This may be a side issue but in light of Mark’s comment, is there any reason to assume that these tweets weren’t intended to refer to the marathon itself, rather than the tragedy? Especially the breakfast one, which frankly seems more likely to have been thought up in the “gearing up for a big race” context. Hence they would have been scheduled in advance to coincide with a major sporting event…

    I may be misinterpreting the context of the tweets but unless Epicurious has specifically expressed that they were not automated, it seems preferable to give them the benefit of the doubt…in which case this is exactly the sort of situation Matt is talking about, where unsupervised automation leads to unfortunate social media behaviour.

  • http://markfrisk.com/ Mark Frisk

    Those tweets were sent the day after the race, and the tragedy, @disqus_u1GIsdtbMj:disqus. So any “gearing up for a big race” context doesn’t make sense. Even so, “Boston, our hearts are with you” just doesn’t sound like a rah-rah message.

    But let’s go with your assumption that the tweets were pre-scheduled to run the day AFTER the race. Why would one write “our hearts are with you” for a day-after message? It’s not only not rah-rah, it’s language someone would use after something bad has happened.

    I’m reading between the lines, but Epicurious’s apology tweets, wherein they specifically refer to the tweets being “insensitive,” lead me to think that they weren’t pre-scheduled.