Interns are often stereotyped as overeager, coffee-wielding victims of mundane tasks and lousy pay. But here’s a pro tip: Internships are actually really important, and if you want to get hired full-time one day, maybe try not to embarrass your boss with a colossal mistake and/or international incident.
Earlier this week, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank called the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), which regularly hosts talks by U.S. and foreign leaders, raised eyebrows when a strangely malicious tweet was sent from its account in reply to human rights organization Amnesty International. Amnesty’s tweet read, “US can’t tell other countries to improve their records on policing and peaceful assembly if it won’t clean up its own human rights record,” referring to Ferguson, Missouri.
CSIS’s reply — broadcast to the account’s 81,000+ followers — read, “Your work has saved far fewer lives than American interventions. So, suck it.”
Soon after, CSIS scrambled to repair the damage, deleting the tweet and assuring followers that it was posted “in error.”
But since this is 2014 and Twitter never sleeps, the reply was saved and screengrabbed dozens of times over. Andrew Schwartz, vice president for external relations at CSIS, explained to BuzzFeed that the culprit responsible for the embarrassing tweet was actually an intern. “It was sent by a CSIS intern who had access to our account for monitoring purposes,” he said. “Apparently he meant to send something reflecting his personal views from his personal Twitter account.”
Schwartz didn’t comment on whether the intern has been fired, but it’s safe to assume he’s in very deep, very hot water. “I find his views and the way he expressed them to be abhorrent and will take appropriate action at CSIS to address the matter internally,” Schwartz added.
Whether the tweet was just an innocent mistake or the intern’s failed attempt at payback for being asked to deliver one too many Starbucks orders, this is definitely a lesson in social media 101. And don’t worry, Amnesty and CSIS are back to being pals now: