Can companies ignore their way out of social media disasters?

Critics hammered Epicurious last week for its insensitive tweets regarding the Boston Marathon bombing. Its response left much to be desired, author says.

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Last Tuesday, the day after the Boston Marathon bombings, the food website Epicurious—which has 388,000 Twitter followers—created a social media crisis by sending out the following tweets, which were later deleted:

I wrote about the incident in more detail last week BUT I’m interested in dissecting Epicurious’ crisis management response over the past six days.

Epicurious’ first response to the social media uproar was to send a stream of tweets, all saying the same thing—it stated that the tweets “seemed” insensitive. These, too, have been deleted:

The choice of the word “seemed” appeared to shift the burden of blame onto the website’s overly sensitive readers, adding fuel to the social media flames. So on Tuesday afternoon, Epicurious went one step further:

Our food tweets this morning were, frankly, insensitive. Our deepest, sincere apologies.

— epicurious (@epicurious) April 16, 2013

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