Sunday night was a busy one. The Grammy awards saw its second-largest audience in nearly 30 years
—an event that featured several moving, show-stopping tributes to the late Whitney Houston.
That so many TV viewers and Twitter users had turned their attention to the Grammys was probably a good thing for Oprah Winfrey.
On Sunday night, she tweeted
: “Every 1 who can please turn to OWN especially if u have a Neilsen [sic] box.” Many Twitter users cried foul—and it wasn’t because she misspelled Nielsen. Turns out, you’re not allowed to reach out to people with the Nielsen boxes in their homes; it’s against the Nielsen rules. In fact, it’s a “potentially serious violation,” according to The New York Times
Oprah deleted the tweet and apologized on Monday, saying: “I removed the tweet at the request of Nielsen. I intended no harm and apologize for the reference.” The apology came after a conversation between OWN executives and people at Nielsen, the Times
Prior to issuing the apology, Oprah defended herself in a series of @ messages to Twitter users who had criticized the media icon. She pointed out
to one person that “please” was used as a courtesy, not a beg. In response to two other Twitter users, Oprah tweeted
: “Unethical a little harsh don't u think? Seemed like it made sense to me. Sorry if u're offended.”
Her @ replies probably had considerable reach. Oprah has more than 9 million followers—and she’s, you know, Oprah
. Beyond that, the people to whom she responded directly have follower counts ranging from a few dozen to about a thousand .
An interesting aside: If you Google “Oprah apology,” the first item is something from the Queen of Talk’s website—the Art of an Apology. Here’s the story
. What do you think—did Oprah follow the advice that appeared on Oprah.com?