In mid-April, US Airways found itself in a precarious situation. In response to a complaint a customer posted to the airline’s Twitter account, US Airways inadvertently attached a pornographic image, tweeting it to hundreds of thousands of followers. The airline immediately recognized its error, removed the tweet, and posted an apology. Fortunately for US Airways, as offensive as the pornographic image was, a couple days’ worth of embarrassing press coverage was about the only consequence the airline faced.
But the fact that it happened at all should raise an alert for any company concerned about the role social media plays in sharing information—particularly because it can happen so easily and quickly. Had that lewd photo been a piece of highly confidential information, US Airways could have been in much hotter water.