History's Worst Twitter Scandals!

Let's face it, Twitter causes trouble.

Everyone from Anthony Weiner to Kenneth Cole to Ashton Kutcher to Sarah Palin and a thousand other celebrities and public figures have learned that the absurd ease of micro-blogging doesn't always translate into a public relations win.

Even if an errant-tweet is music to your scandal-hungry ears, you may have actually missed some of the most knock-down, bare-knuckled, ugly tweet wars in history.

Here's my roundup of the worst offenders:

1. William the Conqueror: Twitter recently became embroiled in its own scandal for suspending the account of Guy Adams, an LA-based reporter for The Independent, after Adams tweeted the email address of NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel. Yet, this isn't the first time that the micro-blogging site has suspended a user for questionable reasons.

In 1066, William the Conqueror famously tweeted the location of his rival, the English king Harold, atop Senlac Hill at the Battle of Hastings, with this tweet:

William the Conqueror

Pretender @HaroldTrueKing near big rock 20ft from sodden mount. Kill him and win a spot on @BayeuxTapestryfunding #unicornsdoitbetter

Moments later, Harold was in fact shot in the eye with an arrow and/or brutally dismembered by four of William's knights, depending on which Twitter feed you read from the period.

William's account was immediately suspended, but as a consolation prize he became King of England. The death of Harold is memorialized in this famous twitpic:


2. Aaron Burr: This ne'er-do-well of a founding father and then Vice President (to Thomas Jefferson) may have tossed the ultimate death tweet toward arch rival Alexander Hamilton in 1804:

Aaron Burr

@InsaneClownFederalist political opposition can never absolve gentlemen from...adherence to the laws of decorum. Gatz ready, punk!

Burr's twitter account was famously suspended the same evening, and so he never saw Hamilton's response regarding their duel the next day:

Alexander Hamilton


@A-B-Cee-Lo: I have resolved...and it pleases God...to throw away my first fire, and I have thoughts even of reserving my second fire.

Burr killed Hamilton on July 11, 1804, after Hamilton deliberately missed his first shot. Burr was later acquitted of treason in an unrelated matter, but never saw a ratings rebound for his reality television franchise.

3. Albrecht Dürer: Everyone from Kim Kardashian to Lady Gaga may love to tweet sexy self-portraits to their legion of followers, but nobody raised eyebrows like artist Albrecht Dürer (when he tweeted these two bawdy self-portraits.

From 1500:


Albrecht Dürer


Self-portrait as Jesus! Big pimpin' 1500. #BeeTweet

By 1522, Durer had completely taken off his top for "Self-Portrait as the Man of Sorrows"


Albrecht Dürer


Check me out and why u hatin'? #thisbodsforyou

Dürer's followers immediately responded:

Desiderius Erasmus


@Durerpainterofdark love you, bro, but you need to hit the gym. #inpraiseoffreeweights

4.Socrates: Let's go back even farther. When Socrates' and his entourage of philosophy-thugs famously got in a serious club brawl with a rival gang of ballers in 399 B.C.E., he tweeted -- from his trial no less -- that he deserved a special type of punishment for his service as a moral teacher:



What do I deserve? A government paycheck and sum serious dinners. #free-Chick-fil-A-for-life.

The 500-person jury that sentenced the philosopher to death disagreed, and Socrates managed to further outrage the public with his famous deathbed tweet, which Plato claims as the first use of a now-ubiquitous slang term.


Knowing that *you* all know nothing, and dying for it #YOLO

Plato later publicly rejected Twitter, because he could never compose the ideal tweet.

If there's one thing today's Twitter-jockey might learn from that wise Greek (we're looking at you Courtney Love), it's sometimes better to leave your half-formed quips floating in the air.