Social media gives you the freedom to share your thoughts with thousands of people around the world.
But freedom comes with responsibility, and when you post the wrong stuff, it could end up offending a lot of people.
Especially when you’re a public figure, things could quickly go downhill with a single mistaken post.
Lily James is the actress who plays the lead role in the Disney movie 'Cinderella.'
Earlier this month, she wrote on Instagram: ''Shinderera' premiere in Tokyo. The final stop on tour and it was a beautiful cold night, thank you!'
The rather innocuous post sparked a lot of hate messages, with some wrongly accusing her of racism for mocking the Japanese pronunciation of Cinderella.
But it turns out James' post had no ill intentions. 'Shinderera' is indeed the correct Romanized spelling of 'Cinderella' in Japan, much like it's spelled 'Ciencienta' in Spanish and 'Cendrillon' in French.
In 2014, Justin Bieber wrote on his Instagram, 'Thank you for your blessings,' with a photo of him at a Japanese shrine.
The photo was taken at Yasukuni Shrine, a controversial place that honours Japanese who were responsible for the death of thousands of Chinese during World War II. It's at the center of international political debate among a lot of other Asian countries.
Soon Bieber realised his mistake and ended up removing the photo, with the following explanation:
'While in Japan I asked my driver to pull over for which I saw a beautiful shrine. I was mislead to think the Shrines were only a place of prayer. To anyone I have offended I am extremely sorry. I love you China and I love you Japan.'
Baldwin went on a Twitter rant against a gay reporter named George Stark in 2013, which ended up offending the entire gay community.
It all started after Stark wrongfully accused Baldwin's wife of tweeting during James Gandolfini's funeral. Shortly after the accusations were published in the Daily Mail, Baldwin tweeted, '(I'd) put my foot up your f---ing arse, George Stark, but I'm sure you'd dig it too much…I'm gonna find you George Stark, you toxic little queen, and I'm gonna f--k you … up.'
He also asked his followers to 'straighten out this f---king little b--ch, George Stark.'
But his tweets didn't just offend Stark -- they ended up offending a lot of gay rights advocates who later demanded an apology and started boycotting products endorsed by Baldwin. The star actor eventually released a statement of apology for his comments to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).
'My ill-advised attack on George Stark of the Daily Mail had absolutely nothing to do with issues of anyone's sexual orientation…My anger was directed at Mr. Stark for blatantly lying and disseminating libelous information about my wife and her conduct at our friend's funeral service,' he wrote.
Star boxer Floyd Mayweather is never one to shy away from saying what he wants in public.
But this 2012 tweet about Taiwanese-American basketball player Jeremy Lin sparked a bit of controversy for its racial connotations: 'Jeremy Lin is a good player but all the hype is because he's Asian. Black players do what he does every night and don't get the same praise.'
He continued, 'I'm speaking my mind on behalf of other NBA players. They are programmed to be politically correct and will be penalised if they speak up.'
Mayweather didn't face much of a backlash for his comments, but fans were reminded he's never afraid of speaking his mind, even if it might be considered insensitive to others.
Justine Sacco, a PR consultant who once had only 170 Twitter followers, became one of the most hated people on earth with a single tweet she thought was funny.
In 2013, before heading to South Africa, she tweeted, 'Going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just kidding. I'm white!'
Tech writer Sam Biddle spotted the tweet, then retweeted it to the 15,000 followers he had, and it was all downhill from there. Thousands of people were outraged and the hashtag '#HasJustineLandedYet' started trending worldwide. Eventually, Sacco was fired from her position at IAC.
Axelle Despiegelaere, a 17 year old Belgian model, was one of the biggest viral stars at the 2014 World Cup. Photos of her cheering for Belgium became so popular that she even landed a modelling contract with L'Oreal.
But one dumb photo of her hunting has cost her that contract and all the fame she earned in a short period of time.
It was a photo of her holding a rifle, proudly sitting next to what looks to be an oryx she hunted down. The caption read: 'Hunting is not a matter of life or death. It's much more important than that...this was about 1 year ago...ready to hunt Americans today haha.'
Fans were outraged, and soon Despiegelaere issued an apology saying, 'i didn't mean to offend anyone..it was a joke.'
But that wasn't enough and L'Oreal ended up terminating their contract with her. L'Oreal's representative didn't say whether the photo had anything to do with the decision to cut her, but did say, 'L'Oreal no longer tests on animals, anywhere in the world, and does not delegate this task to others.'
The star TV host Geraldo Rivera's half-naked selfie on Twitter made lots of people laugh, except for his daughter and boss at Fox.
In 2013, he showed off his upper body with the message, '70 is the new 50 (Erica and family are going to be so pissed...but at my age...)'
The next morning, his embarrassed daughter texted him, 'TAKE THAT THING DOWN RIGHT NOW!'
His boss at Fox was even more upset that Geraldo eventually had to take down his selfie.
'I took it down the next day after I heard from Fox...I just heard from Fox to take it down. I haven't heard the next sentence yet,' he told People.
Ricky Rubio, the Spanish basketball player from the Minnesota Timberwolves, didn't expect his joke about then-teammate Kevin Love to offend so many Mexicans.
In 2012, Rubio tweeted a photo of Love, who apparently had just shaved off his thick mustache, with the following message: 'OK, he doesn't look like a mexican anymore but I think he looks even worst … Here is our superstar.'
Perhaps, something got lost in translation, but Rubio's tweet didn't sit well with the Mexican community, as this freelance writer wrote, 'Poor grammar aside, Rubio's comment is offensive. It has a racist slant against Mexicans.'
Gilbert Gottfried, the standup comedian behind the voice of the Aflac Duck commercials, was fired by Aflac after a series of tasteless jokes about the tsunami that hit Japan in 2011.
Some of the jokes he tweeted include, 'Japan is really advanced. They don't go to the beach. The beach comes to them,' and 'Japan called me. They said 'maybe those jokes are a hit in the US, but over here, they're all sinking.''
Gottfried may have found the jokes funny, but Aflac didn't because the insurance company does 75% of its business in Japan.
In 2011, Penn State's legendary coach Joe Paterno was fired for neglecting to address child molestation that allegedly took place in his locker room. It was a huge scandal that affected hundreds of players and family members, and their future.
But Ashton Kutcher apparently didn't realise the gravity of the issue, as he tweeted, 'How do you fire Jo Pa? #insult #noclass as a hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste.'
It's unclear whether Kutcher was unaware of what exactly was going on, but fans didn't take it nicely. Soon, Kutcher deleted the tweet and apologised with the following message:
'As of immediately I will stop tweeting until I find a way to properly manage this feed. I feel awful about this error. Won't happen again. As an advocate in the fight against child sexual exploitation, I could not be more remorseful for all involved in the Penn St. case.'
Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner stirred a bit of controversy earlier this year with a couple of tweets purported to be mocking the Chinese accent.
During her trip in China, Fernández tweeted a message that replaced 'r's with 'l's in the words arroz (rice) and petróleo (petroleum).
Soon, she tweeted again with what seemed to be a non-apology: 'Sorry. You know what? It's just that the ridiculousness and absurdity is so high, that it can only be understood through humour. If not, it's very, very toxic.'
Fernández probably thought the tweets were funny, but the media thought her timing was poor. Her trip to China was for a meeting with President Xi Jinping so she could ask for additional financial support. She was also embroiled in the murder case of an Argentine prosecutor who was working on an arrest warrant for Fernández.
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