French minister in Twitter gaffe
Published 20/10/2011 | 09:41
ERIC Besson, France's Industry minister, was caught out by a Twitter private message that was accidentally made public, leaving his 14,000 followers guessing about his private life.
"When I get home I'm going to bed, exhausted. With you?" wrote Mr Besson, who is a keen user of the microblogging service and was recently put in charge of the government's digital economy strategy.
Ten minutes later the suggestive message was deleted, and Mr Besson wrote "LOL" – internet slang for "laughing out loud." The message was meant to be for his wife, 24-year-old Yasmine Tordjman.
"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 11.00am.
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.
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 wrote, referring those who asked about what he had hoped to do in bed to his public agenda.
Mr 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 Sylvie Brunel and married his then 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."