Dr. Oz, Bill Cosby Prove Twitter Is Still a Dangerous Game

ozDr. Oz, the surgeon and television doctor who has been accused of backing weight loss product scams, is the latest celebrity to get slammed on Twitter after he posted a tweet asking the social network: "What is your biggest question for me?" and promising to respond to his favorites.

While Oz did receive several legitimate medical questions, his query resulted most notably in a series of absurd inquiries and tweets calling him out for being (in the words of one Twitter user) "an irresponsible crook."

Here's a small sampling some of the tweets, which you can see more of here:

This is probably not what Dr. Oz and his social media team planned on. But it's definitely not the first time a seemingly innocuous attempt to engage an online audience on Twitter has backfired. Examples such as the blow ups surrounding hashtags deployed by the NYPD and the Washington Redskins come to mind, as does the backlash against Bill Cosby after Twitter users rekindled rape allegations against the comedian when he asked the social network to use him as a subject of memes earlier this week.

Twitter is ruled by the court of public opinion. Cosby and Oz's recent problems should serve as a cautionary tale for individuals, brands and organizations with allegedly checkered backgrounds thinking of using the social network as a way to raise their profiles and boost awareness. Look before you leap into Twitter.

Follow Brian Greene on Twitter: @bw_greene