Facebook fans had to deal with a bit of cognitive dissonance over the weekend when, for a few minutes Sunday, Walmart posted this message to its Facebook page
, right underneath user-submitted photos of cute kids having summer fun:
“WHAT THE [expletive] WAS FACEBOOK THINKING!!!!!!Q”
In just a few minutes, that post—clearly written in a fit of all-caps rage (that stray “Q” is a tell-tale sign of a misplaced digit)—garnered more than 6,000 “likes” and 3,200 comments. Most of those comments expressed bafflement that the brand, which has 30 million “likes,” would be dropping an F-bomb on Facebook in such a public forum.
The post disappeared within about five minutes, according to Livefyre Lead Social Strategist Nick Cicero, who posted a screenshot of the gaffe to his blog
. Walmart has only barely acknowledged the post’s existence since deleting it.
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theorized the post must have been a matter of unintentional cross-posting; perhaps a Walmart social media manager intended to post that message to his or her personal account. Or maybe it was a private message posted to the wrong place.
It certainly wouldn’t mark the first time someone erroneously posted a personal message to a large brand’s social media account. Remember the beer-drinking staffers at Red Cross
However, in the Red Cross case, the organization turned that mistake into a positive, fessing up and making a joke out of it.
The Walmart F-bomb was public for just a few minutes. Can the mega-chain sweep the post under the rug?
Walmart apparently did apologize for the post, which was the result of testing a spam filter. but in direct replies to commenters
who mentioned it rather than in a public post directly to its Facebook page.