It's been a big year for social media fails -- and the year has hardly started.
It only took five days into 2017 for a major company to embarrass itself on social media, accidentally posting a tweet containing a racial slur.
Since then we've seen some other pretty high-profile fails, including one from the White House Press Secretary (who tweeted what could be his password) and a host of spelling snafus, including one from the Department of Education.
This is only the beginning, though. As we found last year, when it comes to marketing and social media, it's all too easy for a small error to have big implications. Take a look at these cautionary tales -- and let them be a warning to us all.
Check out the major social media fails of 2017 -- so far.
1. THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION MISSPELLS A WORD IN A TWEET -- AND THEN MISSPELLS ONE IN THE CORRECTION
It’s one thing for a government agency to misspell something. It’s another when the U.S. Department of Education does it.
On Feb. 12, the Department of Education tweeted a quote by late civil rights activist and NAACP co-founder W.E.B. Du Bois -- or as the agency spelled his name on Twitter, “W.E.B. DeBois.” That’s right, the Department of Education misspelled Du Bois’s name.
Education must not simply teach work - it must teach life. – W.E.B. DeBois pic.twitter.com/Re4cWkPSFA
— US Dept of Education (@usedgov) February 12, 2017
To make matters worse, in its public apology tweet, the agency made another grammatical error -- offering its “deepest apologizes” for the earlier typo. After receiving a great deal of backlash from the Twitter community, the department gave its apology one more try hours later.
Post updated - our deepest apologies for the earlier typo.— US Dept of Education (@usedgov) February 12, 2017
2. CNN MIXES UP FAITH EVANS WITH FAITH HILL
Country singer Faith Hill has a lot in common with R&B singer Faith Evans -- they’re both singers, they share the same first name, they … OK, that’s about it. On Friday, Feb. 3, CNN tweeted that Hill would be releasing an album of duets with The Notorious B.I.G., who passed away 20 years ago.
Hill, for her part, took this apparent news in stride, and responded to CNN’s tweet saying how “awesome” that would be. But alas, CNN had the wrong Faith.
Faith Evans, who was married to the late rapper, announced she would be releasing this duet album in May, in honor of his 20-year death anniversary.
3. SEAN SPICER MAY HAVE TWEETED HIS PASSWORD.
With the number of cyber attacks today, people have been warned hundreds of times now to be careful with their passwords. In 2016, Mark Zuckerberg made it pretty easy for hackers to break into his account with his password “dadada.” But no one’s quite made it as easy as the new White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
Spicer may have just posted his password in a tweet out to his 214,000 followers. The nonsense tweet, which read “n9y25ah7,” fits perfectly under the Twitter password criteria that requires a minimum of six characters.
4. YAHOO FINANCE TWEETS A RACIAL SLUR.
Yahoo Finance failed to proofread before posting a tweet containing a racial slur on Jan. 5. When informing followers about Donald Trump’s plans to make the Navy “bigger,” the company misspelled bigger with an “n,” Mashable reports.
Another news outlet conquered by the "b" and "n" keyboard proximity pic.twitter.com/v0sSAntdso— WJ (@WMsDiary) January 6, 2017
The post was up for more than an hour, received a major response from the Twitter community and was retweeted more than 1,000 times before Yahoo Finance removed it and apologized. A mishap that inspired users to create memes and public figures to speak out in disappointment, this is perhaps one of the largest (and most derogatory) typos we’ve seen yet.
5. WENDY’S RESPONDS TO A CUSTOMER’S TWEET WITH HATE SYMBOL MEME
2017 is off to quite a start. pic.twitter.com/V9XWY7J4gp— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) January 3, 2017
@dpeacock980 Your dignity— Wendy's (@Wendys) January 4, 2017
Things went south -- fast. Overzealous, the company took things too far. When asked by a Twitter user, “Got any memes?,” the company tweeted (and deleted) a meme of Pepe the Frog -- which was declared a “hate symbol” by the Anti-Defamation League in September 2016 -- dressed as the Wendy’s mascot. Last year, the image of Pepe was frequently used to express racist and anti-Semitic messages.
"Our community manager was unaware of the recent political connotations associated with Pepe memes, and it has since been removed," Wendy's social-media manager Amy Brown told Business Insider.
6. AFTER RETWEETING AN ANTI-HILLARY POST, IHOP CLAIMS ITS TWITTER WAS HACKED
Be careful what you click on. IHOP learned that the hard way.
After retweeting a Twitter post that called Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign “garbage,” the company attempted to cover up its tracks by claiming it was hacked. The breakfast giant promptly removed the post and tweeted: “After investigation, we have confirmed that our account was hacked.”
It wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for another company to fall victim to hackers, although people were suspicious of IHOP. Why would a hacker break into the diner chain's Twitter simply to retweet a post by @poojaslays?
Maybe IHOP's claims are true, or maybe a bitter community manager just wants you to feel the “Bern.”
After investigation, we have confirmed that our account was hacked this morning. We appreciate our fans bringing this to our attention.— IHOP (@IHOP) January 15, 2017
7. PRESIDENT TRUMP TWEETS HOW “HONERED” HE IS.
Since grade school, we’ve all been taught the importance of spell checking something before submitting it. Turns out our Twitter-loving President Donald Trump didn't get the memo.
As the President of the United States, it should be a given that you’d spell check everything before sending it out to the public -- especially a tweet to almost 22 million followers. On his first day in the Oval Office, President Trump sent out a Tweet about how “honered” he is. The Tweet was deleted shortly after, but some folks were able to save and share the president’s spelling mistake.
Saving this for postority. pic.twitter.com/wmnanHjPWF— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) January 21, 2017
Before he became the 45th president of the United States, Trump may have gotten a hall pass (or a few) for sending out tweets and deleting them. Now that he’s taken office, deleting tweets, or any other form of communication for that matter, could be in violation of the Presidential Records Act.
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editors.