The Death of Twitter’s Posterboy

Ashton Kutcher

If you asked anyone to list the top 5 celebrity twitter users, they would certainly say Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk). But a recent Twitter scandal has led the star to hand over his Twitter.

Kutcher certainly isn’t the first celebrity to turn over his account to a management team and he definitely won’t be the last, but Kutcher’s position as a technology venture capitalist and unofficial Twitter poster-boy put him in a unique situation.

Kutcher decided to turn over management of his Twitter account to Katalyst after a controversial tweet about the Penn State child-abuse scandal. The tweet read “How do you fire Jo P? #insult #noclass as a hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste,” and it has since been removed. There was an immediate public outcry against @aplusk and his apparent “support” of child-abuse.

This event showed that in the Twitterverse, small mistakes can have major impacts. Kutcher has since apologized and made it clear that he did not have all the information at the time of the tweet. I think Kutcher handled the situation well by immediately apologizing and explaining his mistake, but I think he made another mistake when he handed over his Twitter account.

By forfeiting his Twitter account, Kutcher is silencing himself. While people don’t always agree with what he says, the fact that they reacted so strongly shows that they care about what HE has to say. Twitter gives users the ability to share their thoughts with the world no matter how trivial it might be, and by giving this power to someone else, the user is losing their voice. Kutcher will still maintain control over the content of his Twitter, but the fact that he is censoring himself is a bit disappointing. For the average fan, Twitter is the best way to see what their favorite celebrities are thinking.

I’m a huge proponent of people and businesses managing their own social media. If you forfeit your social media networks to an agency it is no longer you who is speaking. I think it is important to be yourself when you are on the Internet. People are genuinely interested what you or your business have to say, not some agency speaking on your behalf. When I graduate I’d love to do social media for a company, but as a member of the company, not as a contractor. The only person who should be speaking for you on the internet is YOU. Please let me know what you think in the comment section. Do you think Kutcher took it too far by giving Katalyst control of his account or do you think it was the correct choice given the scandal?


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