n. The destruction of a person’s career or reputation caused by lewd or insensitive Twitter posts. [twitter + immolation.]
Suicide by Twitter. Shashi Tharoor and Lalit Modi are its leading practitioners. Its latest was comedian Gilbert Gottfried who got fired by an insurance company for making insensitive jokes about Japan where it does 75 per cent of its business.
While Weiner remained dubiously vexed about the question if he could identify his own private parts, social networks went into a tizzy analyzing the situation in various angles. Some supported him, others flayed him, and then a third category of people just saw the funny side of the story.
There were witticisms as well as new coinage of words like ‘Twimmolate‘.
Should we just accept that in the future, to over-paraphrase Warhol, we will all get ourselves fired in 140 characters? Or will the ease and accessibility of social media&mdashand some tipping point of twimmolations&mdashmake people realize that everyone screws up, and increase our tolerance for the occasional idiotic, even beastly remark?
—James Poniewozik, “Gilbert Gottfried and the Rise of Self-Twimmolation,” Time, March 15, 2011