There was much mirth recently when Vodafone got all foul-mouthed on its Twitter feed - sending the ridiculously offensive message: "@VodafoneUK: is fed up of dirty homo's and is going after beaver".

The company immediately posted an apology, but the message immediately shot around the globe. Jakub Hrabovsky, head of web relations at Vodafone, has now explained exactly what happened - telling ReputationOnline:

"Since the inappropriate tweet that was published through @VodafoneUK on Friday there have been many questions and theories (some slightly wild) about what actually happened. Therefore, we can now share what actually took place". 

"On Friday one of the members of the Web Relations team who was moderating the company Twitter account left his computer for a minute to ask a colleague some advice. Another member of staff who is unconnected with the Web Relations team saw his colleagues screen open and assuming it was his colleague’s personal Twitter account posted the inappropriate tweet". 

"Within minutes we realised what had happened and issued an apology. The individual who posted the tweet was suspended with immediate effect and an internal investigation is now underway. We have strict guidelines with respect to all the social media we use and we are naturally upset that a rogue incidence like this could happen".

The approach seems to have worked. Happening as it did just before a weekend, the incident was mostly forgotten by Monday.