Things You Probably Shouldn’t Do on Twitter #23: Tell your followers that if they want to be your intern, they should call a phone number that belongs to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. Sounds obvious, right?
And yet, it’s something that rapper “The Game” didn’t seem to think about when he sent that very tweet out to his 580,000 followers last Friday, leading to two hours of jammed phone lines and the threat of charges being brought against him as a result.
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The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department says that the calls delayed responses to genuine emergencies, including a spousal assault, two robberies and a stolen car, with Captain Mike Parker telling the LA Times that the prank was “beyond irresponsible… The deputies’ ability to answer the phones and dispatch personnel to help these people was significantly impeded.”
As a result, The Game may face misdemeanor charges – which might explain why he’s denying that he actually sent the tweet in the first place.
Instead, he says he was at a photo shoot when the tweet was sent, and that it was actually one of his friends using his phone who was responsible. Not that the “It wasn’t me, honest!” defense has curbed his bravado any; he told TMZ “Casey Anthony can get away with murder and The Game goes to jail for tweeting. God bless America.”
So, three lessons are to be learned from this whole experience: Firstly, a lot of people want to intern for The Game. Secondly, you shouldn’t let someone else tweet as you for fear of legal problems. And thirdly, always beware the simultaneously self-aggrandizing and self-pitying rhetoric of someone who refers to themselves in the third person.
Really, who’d want to intern for that guy?
Graeme McMillan is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @Graemem or on Facebook at Facebook/Graeme.McMillan. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.