In January 2011, Ebert stumbled into his first social media controversy when he tweeted “I’d rather be called a n—er than a Slave” in response to the “n-word” being removed from a version of “Huckleberry Finn.” Ebert addressed that backlash in a post on his highly successful blog, “Roger Ebert’s Journal.”
In June, he caused a social media outcry when he tweeted, “Friends don’t let jackasses drink and drive,” in the hours following “Jackass” star Ryan Dunn’s death. The tweet incited vitriolic comments toward Ebert on Twitter and on his Facebook page. For a brief period, Facebook shuttered Ebert’s account but reinstated it with an accompanying apology. He wrote a lengthy blog post about the Dunn incident, which garnered nearly 1,000 comments.