French minister's mis-directed 'tweet' raises eyebrows
France's Industry Minister Eric Besson was left red-faced Wednesday by an apparently misdirected "tweet" that left his 14,000 online followers guessing about his private life.
"When I get home I'm going to bed, exhausted. With you?" wrote Besson, who is a keen user of the Twitter micro-blogging service and was recently put in charge of the government's digital economy strategy.
Ten minutes later the suggestive message was deleted, and Besson wrote "LOL" -- internet slang for "laughing out loud."
"That will teach me not to play about with a list of notes and hit 'send' by mistake. I'm not going to bed ..." he added, unsurprisingly as the offending tweet had gone out at around 11.00 am.
He might have hoped that the slip-up would disappear into the ether, but dozens of people had already "re-tweeted" the message -- that is, sent it on to their own followers, ensuring it lives on in the network for ever.
The minister was bombarded with jokes and personal questions about who the so-called "DM fail" -- "direct message error" -- had been destined for, and he appeared to become quite grumpy.
"Right, that's enough, I'll leave you to your ravings. I have a hearing at the National Assembly to prepare for ..." he huffed, referring those who asked about what he had hoped to do in bed to his public agenda.
Besson is a former Socialist who switched to President Nicolas Sarkozy's centre-right government in exchange for a government post, and his Twitter slip is not the first time his private life has caused embarrassment.
In 2009 he divorced his first wife and married his 22-year-old girlfriend. His ex-wife took revenge by exposing much of his previous behaviour in a book entitled: "Guerrilla Warfare: A Guide for Wives."
© 2011 AFP