31 December 2015

2015’s Top 8 Social Media Fails

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Social media. It’s all fun and games until someone comes along with a fantastically inventive hashtag that gets taken over and suddenly turns into a pile of pants. Every year there are hash tag disasters and 2015 was no different. So here, in no particular order are the Top 10 social media fails for 2015.

William Hill, the owner of Tom Waterhouse and SportingBet attempted to get into the Easter Monday Race spirit by starting the hashtag called #NameAHorseRace. While the Melbourne Cup is seen by many as a day of glamour, gambling and fun, the fact that horse racing is still pretty controversial led to some less than expected responses.

To be fair to William Hill, they did ask the punter’s to be creative. 

Fresh in our Memories

No list of social media fails could be complete without the disastrous Fresh in Memories campaign launched by Supermarket Chain Woolworths in the lead up to the 100th Anniversary of the Gallipoli landings. The campaign had such an impact that the hashtag #freshinourmemories is still being used today, most recently for the decline of Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Your Taxis

In an effort to take on Uber, Victorian Taxis launched the #yourtaxis hashtag to enable customers of Victorian taxis to sing their praises on twitter. Needless to say, it didn’t turn out according to plan.

Ask EL James

She’s one of the world’s most successful novelists, with 50 Shades of Grey selling over 100 million copies. When she released her follow up novel Grey, a retelling of her original book from the perspective of sado-masochist billionaire Christian Grey the author agreed to a twitter Q & A using the hash tag #AskELJames. In hindsight that hashtag needed a safety word.

Ask Seaworld

After the documentary Black Fish opened, Sea World took to twitter to attempt some damage control. Given the backlash on social media I guess the people responsible felt like a Killer Whale in a fish tank. 

Bloomingdales Holiday Drink Spike

The direct correlation between the holiday season and a bit of date rape didn’t sit well with a lot of twitter users.


After getting a large amount of attention for brutality, the social media team for the NY Police Department launched the #MYNYPD hashtag to provide people with the opportunity to post their photos of good encounters with New York’s finest. Then this happened:

Ideas Boom

In December 2015, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced his Innovation Statement, along with the hashtag #ideasboom. Twitters Australian users hit the tweet deck and came up with some interesting ideas of their own.

Here’s to 2016, and may it bring us as many laughs and cringes as 2015.

Mike Cullen has recently returned to Akolade after a period as the conference producer for one of Australia's leading economic think tanks. Mike began working in the conference industry in 2007 after looking for a career change from the high pressured world of inbound customer service. Mike has worked for some of the most well-known conference and media companies in the B2B space and in his spare time is working on his first novel in a planned Epic Fantasy trilogy.

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