You can have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and even a LinkedIn business profile, but there’s no point in running a social media campaign if it’s not designed to drive leads to your business. Learn more in the eBook. Download now!

What Caused the NSFW Tweet from US Airways

US Airway Twitter Goof up

Goof ups by brands on social media aren’t new. But what happened yesterday with US Airways is the worst nightmare a brand could face on social media. The airline is now occupied with damage control after inadvertently publishing a pornographic tweet in response to a frustrated customer query.

The episode started from a routine tweet from a customer who was unhappy with multiple delays from the airlines. US Airways Twitter handle chose to reply by sending a sympathetic tweet which backfired as the customer wasn’t too happy. What followed next was quite unimaginable – the US Airways Twitter asked for a review and follow up along with a link to an extremely graphic photo of a woman and a model airplane. The below tweets summarise the incident:

US Airway TwitterThe said graphic tweet was pulled down about an hour later by which time it was retweeted by more than 600 people.

Finally, US Airways issued an apology without blaming any intern for the mistake.

According to Mashable, many airlines use Twitter as a forward-facing customer relations platform. US Airways tweets about 412 times per day, according to travel industry tracker Skift. The image in question was attached to a tweet sent to @AmericanAir at 1:59PM, 30 minutes before US Airways sent out a tweet with the same image attached. American Airlines and US Airways use the same social media tool, SNAP100.

Talking to the Ad Age US Airways said the image was “posted into our feed by another user. We captured the tweet to flag it as inappropriate. Unfortunately the image was inadvertently included in a response to a customer.”

US Airways said it is “currently reviewing our processes to prevent such errors in the future.”

What is interesting is that brands typically catch mistakes like this before they go live, with an approval process in place. But then there is no undo button on the Internet and there is no way a brand can avoid being the butt of jokes. Twitter users don’t leave such opportunities especially from a service brand that is accustomed to regular Twitter backlash.

Mashable has already curated 38 priceless Twitter reactions to the NSFW US Airways tweet and states that,

“People are having a ball after US Airways sent what may go down as the most offensive brand tweet of all time, which contained a lewd picture involving a woman and a model airplane.”

Some of the best tweets are listed below:

Join The Conversation

  • Prasant Naidu's picture
    Apr 15 Posted 1 year ago Prasant Naidu

    No worries Chris, I guess they need to cut down at their daily benchmark of 450 twitter requests in a day.

  • ChrisSyme's picture
    Apr 15 Posted 1 year ago ChrisSyme

    sorry--I had read in another post it was an intern or "outsourced" worker.

  • Prasant Naidu's picture
    Apr 15 Posted 1 year ago Prasant Naidu

    Thanks for your comments. But it isn't a job of a intern nor the brand has blamed an intern. It is the side effects of becoming too much automated :)

  • ChrisSyme's picture
    Apr 15 Posted 1 year ago ChrisSyme

    When in heavens name are we going to quit using interns for customer service? Guess we haven't learned that one yet. 

  • ChrisSyme's picture
    Apr 15 Posted 1 year ago ChrisSyme

    When in heavens name are we going to quit using interns for customer service? Guess we haven't learned that one yet. 

Upcoming Webinars

Whitepapers

  • July 29, 2015
    Real-time marketing: you know it's a critical element in your business strategy, but are you finding it hard to master? You're not alone....
  • July 15, 2015
    Social has given brands and marketers a great new tool -- but it's a tool that can be as intimidating as it is powerful. At the top of t...