The Pulitzer Prizes were announced Monday afternoon, with top honors going to The Guardian and The Washington Post for their coverage of the Edward Snowden NSA revelations. That news was largely lost on users of Twitter, however, as they all were looking at pictures of a model airplane with its cockpit inserted into a lady’s boarding gate that was accidentally tweeted by U.S. Airways’ corporate account. Instead of finding out about how the Post and the Guardian blew the lid off the National Security Agency’s far-reaching domestic surveillance program, most Twitter users were instead grabbing screencaps of the bizarre image, which stayed on the airline’s Twitter page for nearly an hour. To protect your continued employment, we have covered up the tweet with an appropriate censorship item; the full, very NSFW image is at Deadspin (NSFW) and all over the freaking place. Pretty sure that someone has lost their corporate social-media job over this one; we’d just like to say that while we may not be able to match an airline’s pay scale, they’re welcome to share their portfolio at Wonkette.
The likely cause of the corporate blunder was pieced together fairly quickly; not terribly long before the U.S. Airways tweet went out, someone had tweeted the picture (NSFW, remember?) to American Airlines with the message “WTF ONE OF YOUR PLAINES [sic] JUST CRASHED INTO MY PUSSY.” The speculation was that U.S. Airways’ now-jobless social media person copied the image — possibly to send to a friend? — and then, when posting what should have been a routine reply to a customer’s complaint, mistakenly pasted the photo into their response instead of copying and pasting the link to U.S. Air’s customer service desk. In fact, they did it twice — the airline sent out two copies of the pic. Ouch.
Edward Snowden had no comment on the internet brouhooha.
Fortunately, someone had the presence of mind to compare Twitter traffic for the Aerovagoo and the Pulitzers, announced at about the same time:
After the airline finally pulled down the photos, it offered the usual apology and promise to investigate; a bit later in the day, U.S. Airways offered this statement to Business Insider about the lady with a Boeing’s business inside her:
We apologize for the inappropriate image we recently shared in a Twitter response. Our investigation has determined that the image was initially posted to our Twitter feed by another user. We captured the tweet to flag it as inappropriate. Unfortunately the image was inadvertently included in a response to a customer. We immediately realized the error and removed our tweet. We deeply regret the mistake and we are currently reviewing our processes to prevent such errors in the future.
Likely story! The old “I was just copying the porn to report it” excuse, eh? Fine, have it your way — maybe that social media person won’t be shitcanned after all?
Yr Wonkette looks forward to alternate explanations — we’re betting Alex Jones will say it was a false vag attack aimed at deliberately distracting from the honors given to the Snowden story.
Follow Doktor Zoom on Twitter. He is encouraged to see the additional signs of overlap between corporate communications and /b/