Top 10 Social Media Gaffes

Chicago woman and NY aide are latest to social network their way into trouble.

ByABC News
July 29, 2009, 10:35 AM

July 29, 2009— -- Next time you think about getting snarky on a social network, consider this: A Chicago woman's Twitter post about her "moldy apartment" has landed her with a $50,000 lawsuit from a local management company.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Horizon Group Management LLC, which has more than 1,500 tenants in the Chicago area, filed a libel lawsuit Monday against Amanda Bonnen, a former tenant.

Although it appears that Bonnen has since closed down her Twitter account, a May 12 tweet from "abnonnen" read: "Who said sleeping in a moldy apartment was bad for you? Horizon really thinks it's okay."

Bonnen did not immediately respond to a request for comment from

But Horizon's Jeffrey Michael told the Sun-Times that the "statements are obviously false" and that the company did not talk to Bonnen about the post and did not ask her to take it down.

"We're a 'sue first, ask questions later' kind of an organization," Michael is quoted as saying.

In a statement issued Tuesday, Michael apologized for the "tongue in cheek comments that were made previously regarding our approach to litigation" and said the comment was taken out of context.

Michael also said that the facts that led to Horizon's lawsuit were discovered in the course of due diligence related to a class-action suit first filed by Bonnen.

"It is our position that this lawsuit is completely baseless," he said. "No mold was ever found but her unit was one of several that experienced an overnight leak during roof repairs in late March 2009 caused by an error made by an external contractor."

According to Michael's statement, Bonnen moved out of her own volition on June 30 but sued Horizon June 24.

While preparing to respond to Bonnen's lawsuit, Michael said Horizon uncovered the offending tweet and "acted to protect our reputation just as we would for any other related comment made in a public forum."

But Bonnen is not the first to tweet her way into trouble.

Most would argue that social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, that have attracted millions of users, including celebrities and politicians, are powerful tools for communication. But it's amazing how much controversy short tweets and status updates can cause.

Here are nine other people who ran into problems on Facebook and Twitter:

You may think your Facebook page is personal, but depending on what you share, your posts could lead to professional consequences.

An aide for a New York official resigned Monday over comments posted to Facebook Friday about the controversial arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.

On Monday, City Hall News reported that Lee Landor, deputy press secretary for Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer, referred to President Barack Obama as "O-dumb-a" on her Facebook page.

According to screen grabs of the Facebook posts on City Hall News' Web site, Landor wrote in one post, "O-dumb-a, the situation got "out of hand" because Gates is racist not because the officer was DOING HIS JOB!"

The screen grabs also indicate that, during workday hours, Landor had an ongoing debate with several other Facebook members about the Gates incident.

In another post, Landor wrote, "And racial profiling does exist, but for good reason. Take a look at this country's jails: who makes up the majority of inmates? Exactly." could not immediately reach Landor for comment.

But Dick Riley, communications director for Stringer told, that the office learned of the posts from the City Hall News story and issued a statement Monday evening about Landor's resignation.

"Ms. Landor's comments were totally inappropriate and in direct contradiction to the views of the Borough President and his office. The Borough President has accepted Ms. Landor's resignation, effective immediately," Riley said in the statement.