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They can make or break a company. Here’s our pick of the worst

When social media goes wrong, it can have a devastating impact, damaging a company’s reputation in minutes.

The beauty of sites such as Twitter and Facebook and real time communication is they are a way of sharing a message, an image or a video with a possibly global audience.

Do it well, it can improve brand image and sell products.

Do it badly, and the negatives are the same as the positives: post something libellous, insensitive or just plain stupid, and it has the potential to be seen around the world.

Many social media campaigns have backfired, leaving bosses red-faced and employees handed their P45s.

Only some firms, with quick-thinking and a well-taken response, manage to save themselves from viral hell.

Either way, to the unaffected, it can be hilarious to watch.

In light of the Jetstar Facebook page hacking – see below – we round up the best social media fails.

Jetstar: Facebook folly

Australian budget airline Jetstar was forced to apologise after its Facebook page was hacked last week. A hoaxer using the name “Jetstar Australia” and using the official company logo started responding rudely to genuine posts.

Replying to someone who asked about sale prices they wrote: “Don’t be such a tight ass, and pay the full price. It’s cheap anyway.”

The fraudster also convinced one woman the airline had cancelled her flights.

“Are you kidding me! You’ve just cancelled my family’s Gold Coast holiday! Please tell me you are joking,’’ the customer responded.

Replying to a man who posted to say he hadn’t heard back about a previous complaint, the hoaxer wrote: “Have you ever heard of giving up?

"We have a lot of complaints and unfortunately can not process them all within allocated times. Please stop acting like a spoilt brat and grow up.’’

Unsurprisingly, Jetstar wasn’t impressed, responding on its official Facebook page: “Unfortunately, someone has made a fake Jetstar Facebook and they’ve been impersonating us. We are working with Facebook to get this resolved.’’

Luckily for Jetstar, there was limited damage, with many of its Facebook fans declaring it “hilarious’’.

“Well done to the person who created this,’’ wrote one user, while another said: “The fake account probably deals with customer service better then you clowns.”

British Airways: Racist retweet

It’s always nice to be mentioned in a tweet – except when it’s a racist comment, filled with expletives. If that happens, you should definitely not, under any circumstances, retweet it to your 211,000 followers ... unless you're British Airways.

It all kicked off when this message was posted by Twitter user Jae Jang Ladd in November: “@British_Airways Fuck you. Fuckin cancelling my flight! #bunchofcunts!”

Another user called Asian Ronaldo replied: “@jaeladd @British_Airways Fuck you. Fuckin cancelling my flight! #bunchofcunts”, go back to your fuckin country you g***.”

It was this message BA retweeted to its followers, causing hundreds to repost the message and lash out at the company.

The airline deleted the message and posted this: “Apologies for the last RT. We are sorry for any offence caused and are investigating how this may have happened.”

 

 


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