[ UPDATE: The City of Vaughan's Twitter account resumed activity Friday afternoon after posting the following note:
"The City has determined the inappropriate tweet from our account earlier today was from an unauthorized user. We are implementing procedures to prevent such an event from occurring again in the future." ]
Not every accident caused by the Toronto area’s snow day happened on the streets.
The City of Vaughan, Ont., suspended its official Twitter account on Friday after a strongly-worded missive was sent out amid a heavy snowfall across southern Ontario.
That is a fancy way of saying someone dropped an f-bomb on the city’s Twitter feed.
The offending tweet was posted shortly after 7:30 a.m. and wasn’t up for long before social media users started asking questions.
The post reads:
Everyone on my street has double gararges...who are these f---nuts who don’t put their car in the garage when we get 2 feet of snow? #dumb
For those initiated with Twitter, it is rare for an official account to use such salty language (unless you are Pat Martin), and especially rare for a city’s official account to insult residents.
Recently in the U.S., a spokesman for Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador was reportedly fired after accidentally tweeting from his bosses account.
The comparably innocent post, "Me likey Broke Girls," was in reference to the CBS sitcom 2 Broke Girls.
It happens; it is embarrassing. You hope you don't swear too badly.
What followed in Vaughan was a series of attempts to address the errant tweet. First the offending message was deleted. Next, an apology was posted on the account, promising a full investigation.
It was about that time that people started complaining that they were being blocked from the @City_of_Vaughan feed. Eventually the page was removed entirely.
[ Related: Southern Ontario digs out from major winter storm ]
Gary Williams, Vaughan’s director of corporate communications, told the Toronto Star they were very sorry for the incident. He said the account would remain suspended pending an investigation.
Perplexingly, he suggested the account may have been hacked.
Those familiar with Twitter, however, were in near consensus about what they believed had happened. Official Twitter accounts are usually operated by one or more employees. And on occasion, those people accidentally post messages meant for their personal account on the work account.
We shall await the results of the investigation before opining further on the subject. But until then, everyone stay safe in the snow.
And you fun nuts in Vaughan better figure out how to park properly. Or there will be hell to pay.
The @city_of_vaughan Twitter just tells it like it is. Don't like it? Move to Markham where they have a safe twitter feed.— Jon Sinden (@JonSinden) February 8, 2013