If only everyone understood that just because they have a thought, they don't need to tweet about it. The ability to grasp that concept might have saved country singer and "The Voice" judge Blake Shelton from an embarrassing tiff with his Twitter followers.
On July 27, Shelton made the odd choice to boast about how he deliberately ran over a turtle with his car:
Does anyone know if the Eastern Box turtle is protected in Oklahoma? If so I didn't just swerve to the shoulder of the road to smash one...— Blake Shelton (@blakeshelton) July 27, 2012
Not surprisingly, the Twittersphere responded with concern and anger. NPR blogger Barbara J. King replied to Shelton's tweet, asking if it was a bad joke:
"That turtle's life meant something- was your tweet a bad joke? Why would you be so cruel to a living being?”
Shelton, in return, told her to "Shut up..."
After that remark, Shelton was inundated with angry tweets, most of which he flippantly responded to, but later he responded with increasing hostility to a user named @turtlefeed, who was repeatedly tweeting about Shelton's perceived apathy toward animal life. Sheton wrote:
"Hey @turtlefeed. Before u make an even bigger dipshit of urself you should research on how much money I have raised to feed homeless animals," adding, "Hey @turtlefeed.. I solely have raised over a million dollars in animal rescue/conservation alone... How much have you raised? Oh. Ok. Next!"
Watching a Twitter fight between a celebrity and their followers is always simultaneously amusing and depressing, but in a series of tweets, Shelton finally broke down and said he was joking about killing the turtle:
"The best part of all of this is that the dumb asses didn't even look to see that I'm not even in Oklahoma today!! I'm in North Dakota!! Do they even have turtles in North Dakota?!!! God almighty!!! What's wrong with people?! Get a life!! Get a job!! Get laid!! For once!!!" He later added, "For the last time I didn't hit a turtle! I haven't seen a turtle! So please all you turtle freaks go back to eating your boogers!! It's ok."
Shelton got so much flak, both for his joke and for the way that he responded to critics, that he was finally forced to apologize for having a poor sense of humor:
Ok.. Now that "Turtle-Gate" is over I want to apologize for my ignorant joke.. I never ran over a turtle. It wasn't even possible.— Blake Shelton (@blakeshelton) July 28, 2012
Blake Shelton isn't the only celebrity who doesn't think before he tweets:
Comedian Gilbert Gottfried apologized for his <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/14/gilbert-gottfried-tweets-_n_835553.html" target="_hplink">offensive remarks </a>about the earthquake that devastated Japan in March 2011.
Gottfried's apology wasn't enough to keep him from <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/14/gilbert-gottfried-fired-aflac_n_835692.html" target="_hplink">losing his job as the voice of the Aflac Duck. </a>
Designer Kenneth Cole <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/03/kenneth-cole-tweet-uses-c_n_818226.html" target="_hplink">later apologized </a>for using the political unrest in Egypt to promote his clothes.
Ashton Kutcher tweeted his disbelief that Penn State fired football coach Joe Paterno. The actor later tweeted that he didn't realize it was because of Paterno's involvement in a child abuse scandal. <a href="http://articles.nydailynews.com/2011-11-10/news/30384760_1_dna-foundation-tweet-twitter-followers" target="_hplink">Kutcher apologized at length and even announced</a> he would be taking a break from Twitter until he could find a way to manage his account.
R&B singer Chris Brown responded to celebrities like Miranda Lambert who were upset he performed at the Grammys where he also won an award.
Actor Ice T <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/17/ice-t-jokes-about-real-housewives-husbands-russell-armstrongs-suicide_n_929564.html" target="_hplink">freely admitted</a> it was a bad joke when he tweeted that many of the women from the Real Housewives shows would make him consider suicide, after Taylor Armstrong's husband Russell killed himself.
Singer Keri Hilson angered Amy Winehouse fans after the singer's untimely death by tweeted a photo of herself with a Winehouse look alike. Hilson quickly <a href="http://rapfix.mtv.com/2011/07/26/keri-hilson-apologizes-for-amy-winehouse-tweet/" target="_hplink">apologized for the comment</a>, telling Winehouse fans, she meant no harm.
Rapper 50 Cent joked about the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that devastated Japan in March 2011.
50 Cent didn't apologize for making light of the devastating earthquake in Japan, but <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/14/50-cents-japanese-earthquake_n_835280.html" target="_hplink">admitted</a>: "Some of my tweets are ignorant I do it for shock value. Hate it or love it. I'm cool either way 50cent."