State Dept. Officials Rapped Over Twitter Posts

Can tweeting about cake-eating contests and Frappucinos really get you in trouble?

If you work at the State Department, apparently so.

Two young officials who work for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently found themselves defending their tweeting ways after sharing a diplomatic trip to Syria with thousands of followers over Twitter.

The pair, Alec J. Ross and Jared Cohen, took a delegation of Silicon Valley executives to Syria recently, but, according to the New York Times, the officials' tweets embarrassed the State Department, which typically employs more discretion in their dealings with the country.

Picture of Megan McCain.

Ross, 38, and Cohen, 28, both have Twitter followers in the hundreds of thousands and, though they tweeted up a storm while in Syria, they were hardly using social media to spill state secrets.

"I'm not kidding when I say I just had the greatest frappacino ever at Kalamoun University north of Damascus," wrote Cohen.

"Creative Diplomacy: @jaredcohen challenged Minister of Telecom to cake-eating contest," tweeted Ross.

The State Department did not immediately respond when contacted by, but the Times reported that the young officials were reprimanded for what other staff members called "stray voltage."

But outside of their Syria situation, the Times said the two staff members are encouraged to use social media and technology in professional contexts.

During Russian President Dmitri Medvedev's visit last week, the Times said Clinton singled Cohen and Ross out in a statement about the how young people are working to connect people through technology.

"We have a great team of really dedicated young people — primarily young people — who care deeply about connecting people up," she said. "And I'm very proud of the work they're doing."

Cohen and Ross aren't the first to raise eyebrows on Twitter. Here are 11 others.

British Man Arrested After Airport Joke on Twitter

In January, a British man was arrested and reportedly banned from a local airport after joking on Twitter that he was going to blow the U.K.'s Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield "sky high."

After a snowstorm threatened to interfere with his travel plans, Paul Chambers, 26, took to Twitter to release his frustration, according to the U.K.'s The Independent.

"Robin Hood airport is closed. You've got a week and a bit to get your sh** together, otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!!," he reportedly wrote.

Chambers thought he was just being funny, but British authorities apparently took a different view. A week after posting the message, he was arrested under the Terrorism Act and detained for nearly seven hours.

Though he was ultimately released on bail, Chambers said he has been banned from the airport for life, The Independent reported.

"I would never have thought, in a thousand years, that any of this would have happened because of a Twitter post," Chambers told the paper. "I'm the most mild-mannered guy you could imagine."

Chambers isn't the only one to have stirred controversy on Twitter. Here are 11 others.

Internet All A-Twitter Over Meghan McCain Photo

In October, Meghan McCain, blogger and daughter of former presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, threatened to quit Twitter and then apologized to her nearly 60,000 followers on the social media site after posting a racy picture of herself in a tank top.

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