laptopMatt Miller, a US Airways spokesperson said today that the employee who tweeted the lewd photo yesterday will not be fired. After its review of their processes, the airline has decided that it was an honest mistake and not one for which the employee in question should be terminated. Apparently, the employee came across the picture and was going to flag it as inappropriate so that Twitter could take steps to remove it when he (or she) accidentally posted it while corresponding with a customer.

Unlike other instances of corporate gaffes on social media, this wasn’t an angry or misguided employee at the helm of the company’s Twitter account. The US Airways Twitter account sends out hundreds of tweets per day, many of them in direct response to customer inquiries. It’s likely that there are multiple people responsible for posting to the account and with that much information being shared in a day, I can see how easy it would be to paste in the wrong link into a tweet.

The noise on Twitter around yesterday’s incident was much quieter; it was easy to see that people had moved on from the surprise of the situation. There were far fewer jokes being made about airplanes landing in the wrong places in my Twitter and Facebook feeds today.

I didn’t think that the airline would see as much vitriol as Justine Sacco experienced after her racist tweet went out. It’s interesting to see how quickly people will accept an organization’s mistake and move on. It gives us nervous social media managers a glimmer of hope that maybe one day, our infractions will be easily forgiven too.

Image Credit: Photo by Jakub Krechowicz