US Airways Porn Tweet Gaffe

US Airways Porn Tweet Gaffe

Updated Apr 15, 2014 at 09:06PM EDT by Brad.

Added Apr 15, 2014 at 03:33PM EDT by Don.

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About

US Airways Porn Tweet Gaffe refers to a lewd photograph of a woman toying herself with a scale model airplane that was accidentally tweeted by the official Twitter feed for the American airline company US Airways in April 2014.

Background

On March 19th, 2014, Redditor Whisper38 submitted a photograph of a nude woman inserting a model airplane into her vagina to the /r/spacedicks[5] subreddit, joking that the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 had been found. On April 14th, @USAirways mistakenly tweeted a link to the pornographic image in response to at least two separate customers’ complaints about the airline’s service. Later that same day, the company explained that the image in question had been originally posted to its Twitter feed, and in the process of flagging the post for removal, it was inadvertently pasted into the replies to the customers.



US Airways Apology

One hour later, @USAirways posted a tweet apologizing for the graphic image, announcing they were “investigating” the matter. Within 24 hours, the tweet gained over 13,500 retweets and 10,500 favorites.




In a statement released later that day, a US Airways spokesperson claimed that the tweet was made in error and was not the result of a hack or malicious employee:

“We apologize for the inappropriate image we recently shared in a Twitter response. Our investigation has determined that the image was initially posted to our Twitter 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.”[16]

Online Reaction

Following the tweet gaffe, many Twitter users replied to @USAirways with jokes about the pornographic image.







According to the Twitter analytics site Topsy,[6] there were over 100,000 replies to the @USAirways Twitter feed on April 14th (shown below).



That day, several posts about the tweet gaffe reached the front page of Reddit, including submissions on /r/cringe,[8] /r/offbeat,[1] /r/facepalm,[2] /r/nottheonion[3] and /r/news.[4]

News Media Coverage

Shortly after the US Airways apologized for the tweet, BuzzFeed[7] posted a screenshot of the deleted image, claiming that it had originated from a “German-language amateur porn and shock site." In the following 24 hours, the U.S. Airways’ tweet, which came off the heels of a terrorist threat directed at American Airline on Twitter that very same day, was quickly picked up by several other news sites, including The Daily Dot,[9]USA Today,[10]CNN Money,[11] The Huffington Post,[12] Mashable,[13] Jezebel,[14] Business Insider[15] and The Washington Post.[16]

Search Interest

Not available.

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