With recent events in France, the “Twitter Sugar Outrage” story was largely lost. However it is a story that needs sharing and is one that no doubt will divide readers!

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 The Twitter ‘row’ started when beauty queen Elena Raouna tweeted Lord Sugar: “Evening sugar ;-) can I call you that? Lol.” Lord Sugar responded: “yes no problem as long as I can call you fatty.” The businessman later responded to another follower who waded into the row by asking whether there was “any need to reply in that manner” by saying: “get stuffed and mind your own business.” A full ‘report’ of the ‘row’ is here.

I am no fan of personal insults, particularly on a public arena – of which Twitter is one. Lord Sugar could have chosen to ignore the tweet, but he chose not to. BUT Ms Raouna chose to send a tweet that Lord Sugar MIGHT have thought overstepped the mark. Roauna’s “cheeky tweet” could also have been perceived as ‘overstepping the mark’. Although Lord Sugar is a public figure, she doesn’t know him and many people would argue that she shouldn’t have been so direct.

Lord Sugar’s side kick on The Apprentice, Baroness Karren Brady tells a story of when she first became Managing Director of Birmingham City Football Club, aged 23. Baroness Brady said that when she met the squad, one Birmingham player quipped: “I can see your tits in that shirt”, to which Brady replied: “Well, don’t worry, when I sell you to Crewe, you won’t be able to see them from there, will you?” He was transferred soon after.

I am sure some people will think that’s outrageous: not only sexist but also very rude to your new boss and Brady set the mark very early on that she was taking no nonsense. Even if you want to show off to your team mates, that sort of comment is not a good career move as demonstrated by his transfer soon after.

It is unlikely an apprentice on the BBC programme would dare to say that to Lord Sugar’s face; he is pretty swift at correcting people when they address him incorrectly.  Some silly tweeter addressing him incorrectly, even with a ‘LOL’ is going to receive a quick retort; anyone watching the programme will know that. This was an immature person thinking it was great fun to show off in front of her friends – rather like the Birmingham football player. Oh how we LOL’ed. If you insult someone else, you have to be prepared to take it. There’s no point moaning about it; you shouldn’t have tweeted him in the first place!

Again we can see that Twitter, like other social media, is public and if you are openly rude to someone else, others see it. It is unlikely Raouna would have said that to Lord Sugar’s face, so don’t do it via Twitter. That is unless you want to create a Twitter Sugar Outrage.

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About the author

Susan Heaton Wright is a former opera singer who works with successful individuals and teams to make an impact with their voices and physical presence. Using her experience in using the voice and performing on stage, she works with people to improve their performances in a range of business situations; from meeting skills and on the telephone, to public speaking, presentations and appearing on the media.

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