Sometimes when people send me an abusive, ignorant tweet, I retweet it.
Because, well, it seems somehow the right thing to do to make them feel better.
However, I am not Britain's flagship airline, with customers whose sensibilities are touchy at best.
Please feel the pain, therefore, of British Airways, which today retweeted this: "@JoeLadd @British_Airways F*** You. F****** cancelling my flight! #bunchofc***s"
That's a partial quote. As if the fusillade of four-letter phrases wasn't enough, the retweeted tweet topped it all off with a racial epithet.
It seems entirely unsurprising that others who follow BA spotted this disgruntled, nasty thing before the airline did. And so it became legend, with a legion of fast-fingered Twitter users posting screenshots of it.
When the airline finally did notice, it offered this tweet: "Apologies for the last RT. We are sorry for any offence caused and are investigating how this may have happened."
I have contacted British Airways to see whether it has made any progress in its investigation.
This peculiar faux pas is a little different from the corporate usual. Previous cases have involved Twitter account operators accidentally sending personal tweets on their corporate account.
For example, this,: "I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to f***ing drive."
Or: "@RBReich your granddaughter's level of discourse and policy > those of Ann Coulter."
Sky News is reporting that the British Airways account may have been hacked -- a very . If that is the case, control must have been regained very quickly.
The original tweet was first retweeted by a friend of the sender -- a friend with the Twitter handle Asian Ronaldo -- who added the racist humor prior to the second, British Airways retweet. He seemed to be enjoying the mess.
He tweeted: "thank you @British_Airways i gained 4 followers."
And then, perhaps, he changed his mind about the fun. For his Twitter account appears to have disappeared.