Social Media Mercy: US Airways Forgives Staffer for Pornographic Tweet

Accidents Will Happen

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In a departure from the recent history of brand screw-ups on Twitter, US Airways has decided to go easy on the employee who tweeted a pornographic photo on the corporate account yesterday.

"The individual who was involved will not be reprimanded or anything of the sort," said Matt Miller, a spokesman for American Airlines (which merged with US Airways), echoing remarks reported earlier by the New York Daily News. "It was an honest mistake."

The employee in question was a member of US Airways' in-house social media team.

The image in question had been tweeted at the US Airways account by another user, and the tweet had been captured so it could be flagged as inappropriate. "In doing that, it was inadvertently included in a subsequent response to a customer," Mr. Miller said.

Last year Home Depot blamed an outside agency for tweeting a photo with a racist subtext and said it had terminated the companies' relationship. The year before that, Chrysler fired its social media agency after it tweeted from the @ChryslerAutos account: "I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to fucking drive."

The Chrysler tweet was accidental, according to people familiar with that incident. The agency staffer had thought that he or she was signed into a personal account, they said then.

US Airways called its graphic tweet on Monday an accident, too, but has decided nobody needs to lose work over it.

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