Twitter can be a wonder for famous people who grasp its significance and how to use it. Conan O’Brien used Twitter to relaunch his career after departing from NBC a few years ago, becoming an icon all over again. Kim Kardashian has 14 million followers and counting and a savvy command of how to engage an audience, more than 10,000 tweets under her belt. Ashton Kutcher used to be able to do this on Twitter as well, at least for a time.
But what about the less-gifted of celebrity tweeters? The results aren’t always pretty. Here are a few famous cases:
Chris Brown: After being convicted of assaulting then-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009, it would seem that R&B singer Brown would always be on his best behavior no matter the time or place. Eh, think again. At least if Brown’s Twitter account is any indication, he may still have a ways to go learning impulse control. He routinely goes off on rants and has other Twitter fits, his public tantrums, worse, coming in front of a following of eight million and counting. Whoever is being paid to rein Brown in on Twitter must have one of the most challenging jobs in show business.
Jose Canseco: It’s hard to tell sometimes with Canseco, the former MVP baseball player and first man to hit 40 home runs and steal 40 bases. In the decades since he notched the latter accomplishment, Canseco’s become a caricature of himself, becoming one of the first athletes to admit to steroid use and writing two tell-all style autobiographies. Twitter’s become a frame for his seeming descent into madness, the former Bash Brother taking to Twitter daily as of late to taunt those that torment him there and to proclaim for all to see, “I complete you.” Still, there’s an element of the madness that makes it seem like it’s all an act and that Canseco’s merely a master self-promoter. After all, the 47-year-old is a regular Twitter trending topic, even if it’s debatable if all the notoriety is really helping him at this point.
Chuck Grassley: Imagine an illiterate factory worker with about 12 followers. Imagine someone with nonsensical tweets rife with misspellings and fragments. Now imagine that person is a United States senator.
Meet Chuck Grassley, perhaps the most unintentionally funny account on Twitter. In all fairness, the Iowa Republican who’s held a seat in the senate since 1981 is nearing his 80th birthday, and many politicians would sooner farm tweet duties out to their staff. Grassley clearly does not. It’s like a modern-day Ichabod Crane versus the Internets, his efforts at turns admirable in their futility and sadly comical as well. More than 38,000 people get a daily dose of the madness.
How bad is Chuck Grassley at Twitter? Put it this way: a couple of months ago, hackers circumvented computer and network security and whatever data protection software may or may not have been present and sent out a few tweets from Grassley’s account, chiding his support of an online security bill. The hacker tweets represented a dramatic improvement in grammar, punctuation, and general readability.
What do regular Grassley tweets read like? Here’s one of Grassley’s Greatest Twitter Hits. It comes from 2009. Grassley tweeted:
“Work on farm Fri. Burning piles of brush WindyFire got out of control. Thank God for good naber He help get undr control PantsBurnLegWound.”