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U.S. Airways Calls Infamous X-Rated Tweet ‘an Honest Mistake’

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We finally have an official explanation for the tweet that broke the Internet yesterday via the New York Daily News.

No, the person who clicked the “tweet” button has not been fired–because he didn’t accidentally reveal his browsing history or share a particularly disgusting in-house joke.

It was simply the most successful act of Twitter trolling in recent memory.

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TurboTax Wants Your Filing Process to Be As Difficult As Possible

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Of course everyone dislikes filing taxes. The fact that we have to do so once a year is one of the main reasons so many Americans have low opinions of government–at least in the abstract.

And yet, the whole process might be easier were it not for the interference of…the people who make and sell tax filing software.

The Slate piece on TurboTax‘s lobbying efforts to defeat the passage of simplified “return-free filing” measures is damning enough to cause a mini-stroke, but we were particularly incensed by this line:

“A public relations firm working on the trade group’s behalf has been luring unsuspecting spokespeople to join its cause—reaching out to them without mentioning any lobbying ties.”

Shocking, we know.

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GM Needs a New Spokesperson, Stat

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Not going so well for her.

This young week has already brought us two new job openings that sound great on paper but might just make you think twice: social media manager at U.S. Airways and director of communications at General Motors.

You shouldn’t be surprised to learn that the first execs to get the axe in GM’s ongoing recall drama were the heads of PR and HR. In yet another non-surprise, the company refused to tie the departures directly to the recall. (This is the kind of decision that makes journalists roll their eyes back as far as humanly possible.)

CEO Mary Barra’s most visible statement this week? A blog post encouraging employees to report safety concerns “whether openly or anonymously.”

Cue that eye roll again…

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The Ticker: Mozilla Chief; Google Email Scans; Data Theft; Pro Prankster; Hillary and Boeing

U.S. Airways Tweets Some Hardcore Porn

So now we now know which airline had the worst possible day on Twitter.

We’re not going to share the image in question because WOW, but we are currently trying to figure out what the hell happened.

Here’s the exchange that preceded what will almost certainly be remembered as history’s most unfortunate corporate twitpic:

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Bad Headlines Keep Coming for Airbnb

airbnbA PR pro in Manhattan wanted to make a little money while out of town over a recent weekend, so she “rented” her apartment to a woman claiming to be an active service member who just wanted “a place to hang out before she got shipped out.”

The rest of the story is, at this point, predictable: the publicist got a call from the cops after a man who was visiting her apartment for a “massage” slashed the woman paid to provide it; on re-entering her abode, she found the telltale signs of illegal activity.

One anonymous sex worker (aka the world’s most reliable source) told The New York Post that “It’s more discreet and much cheaper than The Waldorf.”

So it is. The point here is that Airbnb’s promise comes with some very unique challenges.

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Bloomberg: ‘NSA Knew about Heartbleed Bug for Two Years’

nsa heartbleedAnd things were going so well with the National Security Agency’s community relations repair after the Snowden ballyhoo. No? Oh, then never mind. Let’s just pile on because this report is so many shades of crap.

Last week, the technology community were flipping its lid because of a nasty virus called “the Heartbleed bug.”

In essence, if you have any presence on social media, you may want to change your passwords, like now (check out this nice breakdown from the sages at Mashable). At any rate, it skeered a few million people and it turns out the NSA may have known about this thing — and exploited it for its benefit — for two years.

Whoops.  Read more

THIS JUST IN: Cannabis Sales Creating Some High Times for U.S. Business

THIS JUST IN 2If you watch the news, you may recall there was this mild kerfuffle about legalizing the hippie lettuce.

And in Seattle and Denver (where they smoke so much weed that with a good southern and western front, the entire state of Idaho is baked for about 10 days), it was permitted.

People were happy rolling more joints than burritos. Hipsters would sit on the City Hall steps in makeshift Hookah lounges. And the police would just mosey on by, while considering a trip to get some waffles from some reason.

Then, this report from the Marijuana Business Daily (yes, that’s a thing) offers some reasons on why marijuana may be legalized nationwide in a couple of years. In fact, 8 billion of them. Read more

The Ticker: Startup Funding; Accidental Hacks; Meta Crowdfunding; Hamm on Draper; Social Not Working

Industry Responds to Financial Times ‘PR Is a Waste of Money’ Piece

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The week’s most-discussed article was this one, by Emma Jacobs of Financial Times, which imagines a corporate world free from the “bland message[s]” of “spin-doctors” who “[drum] up controversy simply in order to increase their fees.”

Her overly emphatic point is that certain top financial executives like Warren Buffett prefer to speak directly to journalists and shareholders (though they all have personal assistants). The killer quote, delivered by an unnamed British tech comms director:

“I have no idea what [PR does] for us.”

…and it keeps going.

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