Twitter started out as a fairly cool way for individuals to connect. Then, to the chagrin of some, businesses got in on the act.
What started out as a good-faith attempt to interact with customers, however, has actually had the inverse effect.
Last year, for example, the Telegraph newspaper set up an unmoderated "Twitterfall" account to cover the budget and received a deluge of embarrassing tweets, including the following: "Telegraph wankers #budget Didn't work".
But the embarrassment caused by that calamitous episode pales in comparison to the latest one enveloping Vodafone. Last week a homophobic employee wrote the following message on its official Twitter account: "VodafoneUK is fed up of dirty homos and is going after beaver".
The Guardian reports this nasty tweet prompted hundreds of users to contact the company to complain. The firm later issued the following press release indicating the message originated from a rogue staff member:
"This afternoon an employee posted an obscene message from the official Vodafone UK Twitter profile.
"The employee has been suspended immediately and we have started an internal investigation. This was not a hack and we apologise for any offence the tweet may have caused."
The employee faces almost certain dismissal for gross misconduct.
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