#savetheintern – a small big story on the brits, social media and political communication

#savetheintern was one of the most trending topics in all of England yesterday, thanks to a foolish intern at the House of Parliament. In an 2 min state of dumb wit this young intern used the twitter account of her boss, MP Tom Watson, to tweet the following:

The fun lasted only a few more minutes until the tweet quickly became re-tweeted to fame and media attention. Maybe she thought that only he could see it or perhaps only her friends? Regardless, 15 min later, she regretted her actions:

Luckily for her, Tom Watson seems to have a sense of humor. He has replied to all the fuss his intern + twitter + the british media had created in an excellent (and very dry humored) blogpost containing:

“a bullet point list of answers to many of the questions that have been posed, as well as a few things I would like to get of my chest”.

Ironically, the young intern might have been saved by Twitter as well – the platform that got her into this mess in the first place. Because the third tweet that was posted by his account after her initial blunder, was him saying sorry, and that he will deal with the matter offline.

A reaction that fueled the #savetheintern hashtag and prompted people to call him, asking him not fire the intern, according to The Telegraph.

The logic of this story is indeed odd – from laughter and outcry to a plee to let the intern keep her job. From Tom Watsons chair it must have been frustrating to watch the whole thing spin out of control as the actions on twitter became news articles on BBC and The Telegraph and fueled several spin off conversations on interns rights, their pay etc.

Going over this story again today, Tom Watson’s blogpost truly stands out as a great response. As one twitter user describes it:

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