Whoops. Eagle-eyed followers of Vodafone's official Twitter feed will have noticed a rather nasty tweet that the company just sent out - "@VodafoneUK: is fed up of dirty homo's and is going after beaver".

While the tweet was swiftly deleted, it was immediately retweeted by hundreds of users and those retweets can still be found by searching for the phrase. We first thought the company might have been hacked, but Vodafone immediately issued an apology, saying: "We're really sorry. A severe breach of rules by staff in our building, dealing with that internally. Please keep your faith in us". That apology is now being sent to anyone who mentioned the hack on Twitter.

Sounds like someone's been handed a box and asked to clear out their desk. It wouldn't be the first time that a large company has had their account compromised on the network. Fox News, Facebook, the Huffington Post and Britney Spears were all subject to a nasty hack in January 2009.

UPDATE: Vodafone have got in touch with an official response:

"This afternoon an employee posted an obscene message from the official Vodafone UK Twitter profile. The employee has been suspended immediately and we have started an internal investigation. This was not a hack and we apologise for any offence the tweet may have caused."