What Do Dr. Oz and Bill Cosby Have in Common?


Doctor Oz is the TV doctor known for stirring up controversy by advocating new-age remedies. Bill Cosby is an elder statesman of stand-up comedy who is most famous for the 80’s sitcom “The Cosby Show.” Besides their mutual success in television, these two people seemingly have nothing in common. This week, however, both Dr. Oz and Bill Cosby found themselves mired in their own respective social media debacles.


The Prescription for Dr. Oz: Less Twitter

Dr. Mehmet Oz has come under fire in the past for advocating various pseudoscientific health practices. It should come as no surprise to anyone that when the great and powerful Dr. Oz decided to take his act to Twitter, people did not respond well. Dr. Oz asked his followers this:

“What is your biggest question for me? Reply with #OzsInbox and I’ll answer my favorites on http://DoctorOz.com .”

The majority of replies were negative accusing Dr. Oz of selling out his fans health for money, and advocating unscientific approaches to health. Dr. Oz should have known better. The Doctor knows he’s controversial and should have known that figures in his position tend to be poorly received on Twitter. While Twitter can be a good tool to address controversy, asking a question in the manner Dr. Oz employed simply gave his detractors the space they needed to attack.

Bill Cosby “Go Ahead and Meme Me.”

Bill Cosby has also been in very hot water recently and picked perhaps the worst time possible to take to Twitter. His account posted a link to a meme generating tool with the phrase “Go ahead and meme me.” Twitter users did, but not in the fun way Cosby probably intended. 


Twitter is an incredible communication medium that allows brands and creators to interact directly with their fans. However, if controversial figures or brands use it without thinking about the reactions their posts might elicit, they may exacerbate their controversy.