Let's all give a quick round of internet applause to U.S. Airways today. Despite a climate in which public screw-ups often lead to social media circulation, mockery, and sometimes even organized outrage, the airline is saying that it won't fire the person behind Monday's instantly infamous model-plane-in-a-vagina tweet.
By now you know the story -- there's no way you can't unless you've literally been in orbit above the Earth for the past two days -- so I won't rehash it other than to say that even our headline for it here read "So, U.S. Airways Is Hiring a New Twitterer, If Anyone Needs a Job." That's how much of a foregone conclusion we figured it was that whoever had tweeted out that pornographic picture would be thrown under the bus.
But here's the official word from U.S. Airways, a company that's apparently been smoking some really good weed and just, you know, doesn't want anything to harsh its mellow. From the Washington Post:
Is this person being fired or disciplined?
“No, absolutely not,” (American Airlines Group spokesman Matt) Miller told The Post via telephone from Fort Worth, Tex., where the company is based. “It was an honest mistake.”
Miller said that the image had been tweeted at one of the airlines, so someone grabbed the tweet to flag it as inappropriate. But it was “inadvertently shared” instead, he said.
“We deeply regret the mistake,” Miller said.
The company is going to review its social media processes to see how they can prevent something like this from happening again.
Look, if you handle a lot of social media -- particularly if you're an airline and you're fielding passenger complaints and, in this case, a bunch of asshole teenagers bombarding your group with bomb threats -- eventually you're going to make some kind of mistake. Twitter is actually a pretty easy thing to unthinkingly screw up; just ask Anthony Weiner. It's kind of decent that, for a change, a business isn't knee-jerking and tossing aside an employee for making a mistake almost anyone could have made. Granted it was a very public mistake, but really anybody who got offended over this thing needed to sit down and shut up from the very beginning. As long as U.S. Airways doesn't promote the person who accidentally sent out the tweet to air-traffic controller, we'll all be fine.