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Ashton Kutcher offers mea culpa after Paterno tweet

Actor Ashton Kutcher, who has amassed some 8 million followers on Twitter over the years, was one of the first celebrities to understand how to use the power of social media to raise his public profile. Now he's learning how that same cyber celebrity can turn out to be a double-edged sword.

After hearing that Penn State had dismissed its long-time head football coach, Joe Paterno Kutcher tweeted: "How do you fire Jo Pa? #insult #noclass as a hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste."

That opened the floodgates with people slamming his tweet as being premature, insensitive as well as uninformed. The Hollywood star then went back up on the transom to repair what was fast turning into a public relations disaster. In his follow-up tweet, Kutcher wrote: "As an advocate in the fight against child sexual exploitation, I could not be more remorseful for all involved in the Penn St. case."

Shortly thereafter, Kutcher went back to Twitter to again apologize and announce that he was freezing his Twitter account: "As of immediately I will stop tweeting until I find a way to properly manage this feed. I feel awful about this error. Won't happen again."

On his blog, Kutcher elaborated on his decision as well as the chronology that attended his series of tweets.

Last night after returning home from work I walked by the television and simply saw a headline that Joe Paterno had been fired. Having no more information than that, I assumed that he had been fired due to poor performance as an aging coach. As a football fan and someone who had watched Joe's career move from that of legend/innovator to a head coach that fullfilled his duty in the booth, I assumed that the university had let him go due to football related issues. With that assumption (how dare I assume) I posted a tweet defending his career. I then when about my evening, had some dinner, did a little work, and about an hour later turned on ESPN where I got the full story. I quickly when back on my twitter account and found a hailstorm of responses calling me an "idiot" and several other explitives that I've become accustom to hearing for almost anything I post. I quickly retracted and deleted my previous post, however that didn't seem enough to satisfy peoples outrage at my misinformed post. I truely am sorry if I offended anyone and more over am going to take action to ensure that it doesn't happen again.

Kutcher went on to say that while the Twitter feed had helped bring him closer to "friends and fans," he was now turning over management of the feed over to his team at Katalyst Media.

"My sincere apologies to anyone who I offended. It was a mistake that I don't think will not happen again," he wrote.

Editors note: Kutcher appears in the CBS sitcom, "Two and a Half Men." CBSNews.com is owned and operated by CBS.

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