It’s happened to almost all of us. We’ve typed or spelled a word wrong on our computer or mobile device, and thanks to technology, our auto correct most likely fixed it immediately. Tuesday night Mitt Romney launched an official iPhone app with a misspelling that somehow got past spell check, auto correct and every person who edited it. And unfortunately for him, it’s one of the worst words that he could’ve possibly spelled wrong.
The app allows people to customize their photos by laying a variety of “I’m With Mitt” banners over the images. Each banner shouts slogans like “I Stand With Mitt” or “Obama Isn’t Working.” One of the 14 banners on the app reads “A Better Amercia.” Yes, Amercia. A-M-E-R-C-I-A.
Thanks to technology and the Internet, Romney’s little spelling mistake has become a huge embarrassment for his campaign. Within hours of the app’s release, journalists, comedians and Obama supporters were having a field day on Twitter. On DemocraticUnderground.com, people are posting photos with the banner over photos that make fun of the Republican Party. Below are several examples:
“We thought this would be a fun, easy way to showcase support,” Romney’s digital director Zac Moffatt told Mashable.com when asked about the launch of the app. Unfortunately for Romney, the fun is being had at his expense right now.
No political candidate can deny that the Internet, and more specifically social media, plays a huge role in campaigns today. It is crucial when it comes to reaching out to people, delivering messages and interacting with voters. According to a recent study from the E-Voter Institute, 80% of U.S. citizens who consider themselves to be occasionally or very active in politics have an account with at least one social network. The ability to reach so many supporters and potential voters at once is something that recent political figures have taken full advantage of. President Obama currently has over 16 million followers on Twitter and he tweets several times a day.
Back in the 60′s a political commentator once said: “Show me a modern political candidate who doesn’t understand television, and I’ll show you a loser.” Today the word “television” can be replaced with “social media.” It is an important tool that can help political candidates greatly. But if you happen to be a public figure and you make one mistake, as Romney has learned, it can also become your worst enemy. Your silly little mistake is suddenly not so small, and social media is not going to let it be forgotten that quickly.