For Southern Rail in the U.K., an intern taking over the Twitter feed was a welcome reprieve from angry customer tweets. Eddie, the 15-year-old intern put out a call for people to ask him anything. And they did.
A few users got snarky. About the rollerblade response, one wrote, "And you'd get there faster than on a @SouthernRailUK service too." Another tweeted, "Nobody wishes to troll a 15 year old [sic], but Eddie should be made well aware how lives are being ruined by GTR." To this, a regular member of the train company's Twitter team responded, "We're showing a 15 year old the wonderful world of work today. Appreciate if you could lay off the abuse for a bit."
- The organization could have shut down the questions or left responses to the regular employees. Did they do the right thing? Why or why not?
- How is this situation different from and similar to other hijacked hashtags?
- As far as I see, the tweets are fun but not mocking. What do you see as the difference? If they were more mocking, how should Southern Rail have responded?
- In the book, we talk about an authentic social media voice. How do Eddie's tweets measure up?