5 years ago

British Airways launches probe after Twitter account retweets F and C bomb-laden message

Egg on its face and an investigation almost guaranteed to give the comms people at British Airways a sleepless night after its Twitter account had a meltdown.

Earlier on Saturday evening (UK time), the official Twitter account of the airline retweeted a message containing four expletives and a derogatory term.

The original message was criticising the airline after an apparent cancellation, but this was then retweeted, with a comment added, by a currently protected account (@GordonQiu9).

For some reason BA then retweeted the second message, which included the additional comment, to its 210,000 followers.

All hell then broke lose, with many followers wondering what on earth the carrier was playing at.

Within an hour the BA account had issued the following apology:

BA confirmed this evening via email that an investigation had been launched. No further details about the incident were shared.

It is understood the message was retweeted outside of the normal hours when the airline monitors and accesses the account.

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Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May was a co-founder and member of the editorial team from September 2009 to June 2017.



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  1. Riaan van Schoor

    Erm, what’s more shocking for me is that BA only has 210 000 followers on Twitter? Wow.

  2. Stuart L

    @Kevin Aye. So rude tweet. Mate ads a joke. BA auto-retweet. BA delete and apologise. Mates account gets suspended (is that right?) . Mates account profile says ” well placed to fake it”. Original tweeter says “It was a joke”

    Yeah I’d be wary about this whole story chief. We’ll see though.

  3. Stuart L

    And there’s more…hmmmm

    Sumarumi ‏@sumarumi @The_Z_Factor @matthewpaulgray If you check the a/c for GordonQui9 you’ll see he put that in himself with a ” well placed to fake it

  4. Stuart L

    Oh dear, that isn’t too clever.
    The hacked story never works by the way.
    The someone young on the SM team got pissed and made a bad error of judgement and is being taken aside for retraining, however usually does work.

    ps. Seen this?
    Last tweet on page 2 is a bit odd

  5. Dane Cobain

    Misclick, perhaps – they meant to hit reply and hit RT instead?

    • Kevin May

      Kevin May

      @dane – thx for your comment.

      yes, a very possible explanation. Still, will no doubt ensure some stronger QA is put in place around how the carrier handles the account.

      There’s always the delete button, too.

      • LSF

        “Misclick, perhaps – they meant to hit reply and hit RT instead?” << Unlikely. As the article notes, they don't post anything to twitter outside of weekday office hours. A small correction: I believe an hour elapsed before BA deleted and apologised for the retweet.

        • Kevin May

          Kevin May

          @LSF – yes, that’s what we said: “Within an hour the BA account had issued the following apology”.


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