Vaughan city officials sorry for obscene tweet sent from its account

Credits: TWITTER


TORONTO - The City of Vaughan is apologizing after a tweet from its official Twitter account called some of its residents an obscene name.

"Everyone on my street has double gararges (sic) ...who are these f---nuts who don't put their car in the garage when we get 2 feet of snow? #dumb," read the message, sent out to the city's approximately 1,200 followers at 7:23 a.m. Friday morning.

The message sparked several hundred re-tweets and a red-faced city bureaucracy to issue a quick mea culpa.

"We want to apologize to all of our followers for the inappropriate tweet that went out via our account," said Gary Williams, director of corporate communications for the city.

Williams said an investigation into the offensive missive revealed an unknown "unauthorized user" posted two tweets, including the snow rant which was trending on the social media site Friday.

"We still don't know who tweeted it," he said. "We are still looking for that information. We hope Twitter can help us out and we can get to the bottom of this."

Williams said there is no evidence to suggest authorized users of the account were behind the tweet. The city has contacted Twitter directly hoping it can trace the IP address where the message originated, he said.

After disabling the account for most of the day, it was re-activated mid-afternoon Friday. Williams said the city needed to ensure no further improper messages would be sent from the account so passwords have been changed.

"Our first concern was ensuring that this person who had access to our account was not able to send out more tweets like that," he said. "We really value the messages that go out from the city."

That was a mistake according to Cory Stewart, founder of Embrace Disruption PR, a public relations firm that deals primarily with social media.

"If it is indeed a hacker, I have very high doubts that it is, you're respected more by the community and social world if you take accountability and say 'We screwed up.'"

Stewart said it appears someone was tweeting from the corporate account and did not switch over to the their personal account. It happens, he said.

"Everyone has done it. They've put up something they didn't mean to on a company account."

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