The Most Insane Miami Twitter Moments of the 2010s

The Cheesecake Factory's Dadeland Mall location.
The Cheesecake Factory's Dadeland Mall location. Photo by Phillip Pessar / Flickr
click to enlarge The Cheesecake Factory's Dadeland Mall location. - PHOTO BY PHILLIP PESSAR / FLICKR
The Cheesecake Factory's Dadeland Mall location.
Twitter: You use it to scream into a void at work, make enemies, or get fired, and in return, nothing good happens and using it only makes you sad. It's cigarettes for your brain. Sometimes you find a good joke on the site, sometimes you network online and make new friends, and almost all of the time, those instances are drowned out by the nonstop caterwauling of online Nazis, boomer idiots, and the president of the United States.

Miami is a particularly insane place to be online, because the city attracts narcissists, and 85 to 90 percent of being a Miamian in the 2010s revolved around Posting About Where You Were and Why It Was Important and Exclusive. Florida is a largely crazy place to live, and  living inside the brains of Floridians online each and every day is even crazier. So, inspired by this BuzzFeed list of the decade's most brain-melting political tweets, here's a rundown of the best and worst that Miami Twitter offered this past decade.

Bleakest corporate tweet: UPS thanking Miami-area cops for possibly shooting a UPS driver to death.
UPS has been roasted incessantly since the December 6 shooting in which a team of 18 Miami-area cops fired their guns into rush-hour traffic after alleged robbers highjacked a UPS truck and took its driver, Frank Ordonez, hostage. Ordonez, the two robbers, and an innocent bystander died. In a since-deleted tweet, UPS thanked the cops for their service.
Worst Javier Ortiz moment: Miami's police union president saying 12-year-old Tamir Rice deserved to be murdered by cops.

Choosing a single Javier Ortiz Twitter moment is like eating only one Pringles chip from the can, except the chips in this instance are racist statements from a powerful cop and the canister holding them is bottomless. But the worst among the bunch is clear: Before Ortiz was forced from his position heading the Miami Fraternal Order of Police, he tweeted that Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old child holding a toy gun, deserved to be shot dead by Cleveland cops.

"Act like a thug and you'll be treated like one," he wrote online in 2015 after Rice was killed. We refuse to let him forget it.
Best way to get fired online: The time a radio host got canned for offering $1,000 to permanently injure Devonta Freeman.

Former Miami Hurricanes defensive tackle Dan Sileo was fired from his job on WQAM in 2013 after offering $1,000 to anyone who injured then-Florida State Seminole Devonta Freeman. This incident made the list less because of what happened and more because Sileo had a subsequent meltdown and perfectly encapsulated the misspelled, bizarrely capitalized, and bone-chilling way male boomers get angry online in modern society. Sileo went from offering money to hurt people to claiming he was in hiding and had to hire armed guards because of the backlash. Few sentences are as perfect as "I have hired a PRIVATE COP and He is ARMED..THANK U..GO CANES." Sileo wins bonus points for threading his tweets out of order. Perfect boomer mindset.
Best hoax: Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson possibly making up a story about pigeon husbandry.

Miami native and former NFL star Chad Johnson could get his own list for all the crazy things he has done online, but the strangest was claiming in 2010 that he found a pigeon and watched that pigeon lay eggs. Some intrepid internet sleuths, however, discovered he was just using pigeon photos from the first page of Google Images.
Worst use of police time: Miami Beach cops arresting a dude for a parody Twitter account.

Miami Beach cops arrested Ernesto Orsetti in 2018 after he allegedly made an account that purported to be run by MBPD spokesperson Ernesto Rodriguez. That arrest seemed unnecessary on its face and could have had some serious repercussions for First Amendment rights. But prosecutors dropped the charges after noting Orsetti had written that retweets "are just RTs" in his bio, so don't let anyone tell you that phrase is meaningless.
Weirdest fight: Former Miami Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen's Twitter feuds with Karl Lagerfeld and Mariah Carey.

As former New Times columnist Kyle Munzenrieder wrote in 2016:
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican from Miami, is like the Azealia Banks of Congress. She always seems to find herself feuding with some celebrity or another. Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, and Jennifer Lopez have all found themselves on the other end of a critical Twitter lashing from Ros-Lehtinen.

However, the congresswoman has good reasons for her beefs. Ros-Lehtinen usually reserves her ire for stars she believes are propping up dictators throughout the globe while ignoring human rights.

In fact, the member (and former chair) of the powerful House Committee on Foreign Relations has taken it upon herself to become Washington's top voice calling out Hollywood stars who dabble with dictators.
That habit led Ros-Lehtinen to yell at then-Chanel head honcho Karl Lagerfeld for going to Cuba, former NBA great Dennis Rodman for traveling to North Korea, and even Beyoncé for her 2016 trip to Havana. Did you know Mariah Carey took a bunch of money from former Angolan dictator José Eduardo dos Santos? Ros-Lehtinen sure remembers.
Best political tweet: Marco Rubio promising in writing he would not run for reelection.

Staring at this tweet approximates the feeling of staring directly at the sun. Kudos to the senator for having the guts to leave the post online.
Worst trend: #FloridaMan

Look, New Times (and even this reporter) is also guilty of leaning into the Florida Man aesthetic for cheap laughs in the social media era. But there's nothing funny about Florida Man stories — they make for quick, viral hits on Twitter, but they ruin the lives of people who overwhelmingly have drug problems or mental-health issues. Think twice before you retweet those posts, folks. If you can't understand why, download this Chrome plug-in from the podcast Citations Needed that replaces the term "Florida Man" with the phrase "Man likely suffering from mental illness or drug addiction."
Best Twitter moment of the decade: The day all of conservative media screamed at a Miami Cheesecake Factory.

This incident didn't get much media play when it happened. But it might be the single funniest thing to ever happen in Miami politics, and it deserves to be immortalized as a shining example of how politics and social media broke everyone's brains in the post-Trump era. In May 2018, Eugenior Joseph claimed he was threatened by staff at the Dadeland Mall Cheesecake Factory for wearing a Make America Great Again hat. Joseph claimed staff gathered around his table and "smacked their knuckles" around him. So he called the cops. And the cops determined nothing happened.

This did not stop Fox News from putting Joseph on the air to discuss the so-called incident while he proudly wore his MAGA hat. Pundits such as Ben Shapiro and white-supremacist bog-witch Ann Coulter came to Joseph's defense online and acted as if he had somehow been the victim of a hate crime for an incident that might not have even happened. Amateur conservative YouTubers briefly began appearing at Cheesecake Factory locations and screaming about Donald Trump. (Really.) And the Cheesecake Factory apologized online. Two days later, the company said it had fired two employees. But it also seemed to suggest Joseph was lying about portions of what had happened.

The incident reveals Americans have two paths in life: You can become a Eugenior Joseph and perform on camera for the TV propaganda machine, or you can sit behind a desk while waiting for 5 o'clock and trying to drink away the pain of writing branded tweets for a cheesecake chain. Here's to 2020.
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Jerry Iannelli is a former staff writer for Miami New Times from 2015 to March 2020. He graduated with honors from Temple University. He then earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.