Seems a popular tweeter in Houston was kicked out of a restaurant after tweeting a negative comment about the bartender and his service.
You can read about the ordeal of Allison Matsu and the DownHouse on the Houston Press blog, but the synopsis is this: Matsu was drinking at the bar and tweeted that the bartender was a twerp (the tweet has since been deleted) and included a derogatory hashtag. The restaurant manager saw the post, and from outside the restaurant, called the bartender, who gave the phone to Matsu. The manager and tweeter exchanged words, then Matsu was asked to leave. She did, allegedly, in tears.
Tweet positive, welcome; Tweet negative, get bounced
Comments are interesting on this one – some defending the restaurant and its right to serve or eject any patron; others defending the tweeter’s right to tweet in a restaurant that had previously encouraged the practice. Another group feel phones should be banished from the planet altogether and especially in restaurants.
But for those who allow or encourage it: You can tweet – as long as it’s positive? Since it’s protected by free speech, there’s no argument about her right to an opinion, tweeted, spoken, or otherwise.
Restaurants garner PR through Tweets and Foursquare and a bunch of other instant-gratification social media sites. Many hire groups to tweet from their restaurants to create the buzz desired; this is especially true among the 18-30 age group – demographics that certain restaurants and bars covet.
Social media is a two-edged sword — and negative tweets should be expected along with the shout-outs.
In this case: Both win – Matsu with all the PR and sympathy she’s garnered and the followers she’s gained, and the restaurant, which finds its name on national blogs today, where before, it was only one of a zillion Houston, Texas, restaurants.