British Airways lofts spectacular four-letter retweet

For reasons that seem entirely unclear, British Airways retweets an expletive-laden tweet that is critical of, well, British Airways.

Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

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, from the Chrysler Twitter feed: "I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to f***ing drive."

Or this from Microsoft: "@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 Weinerian offering. 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.

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