Domestic violence, which is in the news again after a video showing former NFL running back Ray Rice decking his wife went viral, is no laughing matter. And pizza maker DiGiorno insists it was not trying to make light of this problem.
The company insists that it inadvertently waded into a trending Twitter feed using the hashtag #whyistayed. All of the tweets, which number over 100,000, were posted by battered women. (There is also a companion #WhyILeft hashtag for posts by women who packed their bags.)
According to the MailOnline, DiGiorno assumed the hashtag represented something far more benign and sent out the tweet shown in this screen cap, since deleted:
The person behind the account quickly realized their mistake and apologized, writing, ‘A million apologies. Did not read what the hashtag was about before posting.’
That’s not all either, as they also then spent the entire day writing back individual responses on Twitter to the thousands who voiced their disgust that the brand would make light of something so horrible.
That was followed today by a blanket apology:
We heard from many of you, and we know we disappointed you. We understand, and we apologize to everyone for this mistake.
— DiGiorno Pizza (@DiGiornoPizza) September 9, 2014
If there is a lesson to be learned, it is that social media is still relatively new and that the 140-character limit imposed by Twitter in particular can easily lead to intercommunication. In other words, the brevity of messages suggest ironically that you should take the time to make sure you understand what you are reading.