There is no denying that twitter is a powerful tool, and with such power comes a lot of responsibility. When operating social media tools for large companies or for that matter any company, the question of who you put in charge of the controls has be assessed. We bang on about how when using sites such as twitter we don’t want to plug into a direct line of marketing and instead want to hear a voice behind the tweets, a voice behind the company, and quite frankly a human voice not a marketing robot.

Yet with any human there comes mistakes, frustrations and an inevitable muck-up. It just couldn’t have come any worse for the National Theatre when clearly an employee in their digital marketing department let slip a rather frank and honest remark about an article which suggests the “National Theatre should have a Compulsory Demolition Order!” on the Evening Standard website (read the full article here).

Their response: Steve Norris is a giant…

Clearly someone has some explaining to do

The offensive tweet was quickly deleted from the NT’s feed, and some 50 minutes later, an apology was sent to it’s 9,878 followers stating that:

“Sincere apologies. The NT believes its account has been hacked. Earlier tweet in response to Standard article did not come from the NT.”

Regardless if the NT’s twitter was hacked into, or indeed an employee let slip some thoughts by mistake whilst thinking they were on their personal account, it calls to question just how safe organisations are from slip ups such as this. Earlier in the year we saw an outburst from the Southwark Playhouse twitter where the administrator admitted in a frank tweet that she had gotten fired. Of course the tweet was shortly deleted but not after it was passed around the twitter community… and indeed the tweeter in question still got fired.

Having a huge following as the National Theatre does mistakes come at a huge price, especially when using the language that appeared in the tweet – hacked into or not, someone tomorrow is going to be having some explaining to do.

Tips for keeping your twitter account secure:

1. Regularly change your password, using a combination of letters and numbers/symbols.
2. Limit the amount of people who have access to the account, especially employees who use personal accounts on twitter too.
3. Keep your passwords safely secure in an encrypted file when saving it on a computer.