kpix-7-2013-masthead kcbs 7-2013-masthead

Tech

US Airways Tweets Pornographic Image; Social Media Gaffe Goes Viral

by Carlos E. Castañeda
View Comments
US Airways Twitter

Image of the US Airways Twitter page.

Get Breaking News First

Receive News, Politics, and Entertainment Headlines Each Morning.
Sign Up
Trending Stories On CBS SF

weed wildfire 091514 US Airways Tweets Pornographic Image; Social Media Gaffe Goes ViralWildfire In Northern California Town Of Weed Burns 100 Homes, At Least 1,500 Evacuated

hurricane odile US Airways Tweets Pornographic Image; Social Media Gaffe Goes ViralHurricane Odile Slams Into Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula Near Cabo San Lucas

jung US Airways Tweets Pornographic Image; Social Media Gaffe Goes ViralNotorious Ex-Cocaine Kingpin George Jung Out of Prison, Living In San Francisco

strange lights US Airways Tweets Pornographic Image; Social Media Gaffe Goes ViralWhat Was That Strange Streak Of Light In The Bay Area Sky Friday Morning?

marijuanagrowing US Airways Tweets Pornographic Image; Social Media Gaffe Goes ViralMysterious Men Dropping From Helicopters To Chop Down NorCal Marijuana Grows

TEMPE, Arizona (CBS SF) — A major social media gaffe by US Airways involving a pornographic image is turning into a viral nightmare for the company.

In response to a customer who complained about a flight delay, Arizona-based US Airways sent a conciliatory message to the customer on the company’s Twitter account, which included a link to an extreme graphic image of a woman using a model airplane as a sex toy.

Incredibly, the tweet remained on the US Airways Twitter feed for nearly an hour before it was deleted.

By that time, the tweet has been shared an untold number of times across the Internet, and #usairways was a trending hashtag on tweets and mems joking about the gaffe.

US Airways told The Washington Post their Twitter account had not been hacked, it was simple human error after the image had been posted to the company’s 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. We immediately realized the error and removed our tweet. We deeply regret the mistake and we are currently reviewing our processes to prevent such errors in the future.”

Social media consulting firm Sprinklr CEO Ragy Thomas told Advertising Age that companies with an approval process that includes at least two people reviewing every tweet before it goes live would typically catch such mistakes. He speculated the gaffe happened when the photo “got saved and the wrong picture got selected because it was coming from the same library or something,” Thomas told Ad Age.

BuzzFeed reported the image was originally from a German-language amateur porn site, and said it was possible that US Airways social engagement software ingested the photo or simply a copy/paste error by whoever was sending out tweets for the account.

 

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 53,916 other followers