The city of Vaughan has apologized and temporarily suspended its Twitter account after a profane rant on Friday's huge snowstorm appeared on its profile. Vaughan officials have asked Twitter to find out what happened.
Officials say an “unauthorized user” accessed the city’s official Twitter account, even though only two corporate communications colleagues have a password to the account. The tweet, which generated a sensation on the popular social networking website, lasted for almost an hour after it was posted at 7:23 a.m.
“Everyone on my street has double gararges ... who are these ----nuts who don’t put their car in the garage when we get 2 feet of snow? #dumb,” the tweet stated before it was quickly deactivated and then later reactivated again. The tweet was retweeted during this time and screenshots were saved.
There was conjecture on Twitter that someone had meant to post the snowstorm rant, but Gary Williams, Vaughan’s director of corporate communications, said in a series of tweets that it was someone who had “unauthorized” access.
“The City of Vaughan apologizes for the inappropriate tweet that came earlier today from its corporate Twitter account,” the tweet said. “The City will temporarily suspended the account & look into the cause of this tweet, including the possibility of the account being hacked. The City has determined the inappropriate tweet from our account earlier today was from an unauthorized user. We are implementing procedures to prevent such an event from occurring again in the future.”
Vaughan City Councillor Deb Schulte told the Toronto Star that a resident had called her about an hour after the tweet was posted and informed her “to look at your Twitter feed.” Schulte called the city manager shortly after.
“The tweets don’t seem to relate to anything and do seem inadvertent, like somebody using the wrong account or the wrong phone,” Schulte said. “It’s unfortunate but we’ll get to the bottom of it.”
The major snowstorm hit Southern Ontario with as much as 25 centimeters (nine inches) of snow.