(Original story at The Straits Times here.)
Even news organizations are vulnerable to what happened to Chrysler last month.
The interesting thing is that even though the offending tweet was deleted within seconds, the damage was done. “Hundreds” of Twitter had already users re-tweeted that message.
As was in the Chrysler case, the culprit mixed up his personal and corporate accounts and thought that he was posting to his personal account. The staff member was also not named in this case. Luckily for this journalist though, an apology sufficed and he kept his job.
I will ask again: Why do some people think that it is alright to post profanities even on their personal accounts?
Apr 2, 2011
Vulgar tweet sent to ST followers by mistake
STcom staff mixed up his personal and corporate accounts
A VULGAR message was accidentally sent out on the corporate Twitter account of The Straits Times yesterday.
The message, sent out at 12.15pm to more than 46,000 followers of @STcom on the social networking site, read: ‘omg. f… you all. seriously.’
It was deleted within seconds.
Upon being alerted, Straits Times social media editor Ng Tze Yong immediately posted a tweet apologising on behalf of the staff member who had committed the blunder.
But the tweet had already gone viral within minutes, with hundreds of Twitter users re-posting the message.
The reactions were mostly of amusement, with some expressing sympathy.
‘I thought it was an April Fools’ joke at first, but then they deleted it and I realised it was an honest mistake,’ said Twitter user Louise Bolo.
Mr Ng said the staff member, one of several journalists who assist him in managing the Straits Times Facebook and Twitter accounts, had mixed up his personal and corporate accounts.
‘The post was deleted by our staff member literally seconds after he posted it,’ said Mr Ng. ‘But on social media, as we can see, there’s absolutely no margin for error. This is the volatile space which we are venturing into and, as I told the team later, we’ve got to learn fast and learn to recover fast from the knocks along the way.’
He added that the staff member, who has not been named, has since apologised to the team.
There was a similar gaffe in February, when a staff member of the Health Promotion Board posted a profanity-laced message by mistake using its corporate Twitter account.
Mr Ng said the editors have investigated the matter and reprimanded the staff member.
‘It was a human error but a serious oversight nonetheless,’ he said. ‘I apologise unreservedly on behalf of my staff member and hope that readers accept our apology.’