American Airlines’ Twitter Adventure

American Airlines was able to use Twitter to create a mistake that was spread via Twitter.

AA spokesman Christopher Vary, who leads the airline’s social media efforts, told The Dallas Morning News a person who was in Haiti after the earthquake struck the island misinterpreted some information and sent a tweet saying AA was offering free flights to Haiti for doctors and nurses and including a phone number for the Haitian consulate in New York.

Making matters worse, The Dallas Morning News added, the false message was retweeted by film critic Roger Ebert, who has nearly 50,000 Twitter followers, and retweeted again by others including actor Rainn Wilson, who boasts 1.8 million followers.

AA was able to tweet major news outlets with the information that the original tweet about free flights was incorrect, and the airline used its own Twitter feed, as well, with Vary telling the newspaper, “We got the message within an hour and hit the social space. When things pop up like that, you have to act.”