Alice Hoffman has been deleted – our loss? Her gain?

Posted on: June 30, 2009

According to Brand Republic Alice Hoffman has deleted her twitter account and apologised for recent tweets regarding an unfavourable review in the Boston Globe.

The story goes that she criticised her critic on twitter and used the rather minor expletive ‘moron’ to describe her. She also, apparently, posted the journalist’s number and email on twitter and suggested people contact her to express their disgust. However, although this has been described as bordering on harassment, it is likely this information could have easily been found about a journalist at such a big newspaper. Alice has in turn come under fire from twitter users and been criticised for negative book reviews she has herself written in the past.

Alice’s account on twitter has now disappeared; this abrupt deletion begs four questions:

  • Brand cultivation: How far should artists / companies / individuals go in maintaining a personal brand?
  • One rule for them? Tweets are often personal, emotional: good and bad feelings throughout the day of an individual. ‘What are you doing right now’ could often be substituted for ‘How are you feeling right now’. Should we expect celebrities to operate under different rules? Should they censor what is actually a fairly standard human reaction to what they see as unfair criticism? Is it really such a big deal for someone to have reacted passionately, openly, about someone criticising their work? Or should celebrities and others in positions of responsibility carefully shield the masses from their ups and downs?
  • Our loss? Does the social web lose value every time someone self-censors and deletes their twitter profile in this way? Moving us away from the utopian ideals of free expression in a connected world and further towards Foucault’s docile bodies in a self-imposed cyber panopticon?
  • Good publicity? Will Hoffman’s unfortunate twourettes outburst be good, or bad for her career? Google Trends suggests the former.

Alice hoffman keyword: GoogleTrends

Google trends for the keyphrase ‘Alice Hoffman’


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