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It's a social media editor's worst nightmare: accidentally tweeting a photo from a giant corporate account – a photo that is not only not safe for work, but also not safe for anywhere, ever.

The @USAirways Twitter account responded to an upset customer in usual corporate voice: "We don't like to hear this.. Please provide feedback to our Customer Relations team here"

It's still not known who, or what, was behind the inappropriate tweet: Perhaps the ol' copy and paste wasn't working for the poor guy behind the Twitter account – or maybe he was a disgruntled employee looking for revenge. Or maybe the US Airways account was hacked?

Whatever did happen, the end result was seen all across the Internet (and unfortunately can't be unseen). Instead of a link, there was a pasted Twitter picture. I'm told the original photo was actually tweeted by a woman to American Airlines, as an apparent joke.

The photo in question is nothing we can republish here, or even direct you to. In summary, though, there's a woman making a crude gesture with a model plane. If you do find it, and you are at work, and you choose to ignore all of our NSFW warnings, please do so in a small window, behind other windows.

Fifteen minutes later, the account acknowledged the Twitter error and responded: "We apologize for an inappropriate image recently shared as a link in one of our responses. We've removed the tweet and are investigating."

Responses on Twitter were fast and furious to the unimaginable photo  from such a hugely branded corporate account:

  • @ScottLowe: Annnnd USAirways wins the internet. Or loses it, depending on where you stand. Very unbelievably NSFW
  • @andylassner: Oh. My. God. USAirways
  • @mat Dear USAirways, just blame it on Heartbleed. Everyone will believe you
  • @LostLetterman  Was really curious about what all the fuss over this US Airways tweet was. Really regret looking into it...
  • @hollyanderson I hope nobody gets fired at UsAirways because if now this is what you’re known for rather than what you’re actually like, that’s a net gain.
  • @peytonshead  Oh  USAirways....this is gonna be BAAAAAD.

Let this be a lesson to all social-media editors out there: Mistakes happen in the workplace every day – I must hit 'reply all' accidentally at least three times a day – but when you're running an account with 450,000 followers, your mistakes are far more costly.