Pentagon agency's Twitter account deleted for 'poor taste'

September 20, 2013
The logo of social networking website 'Twitter' is displayed on a computer screen in London on September 11, 2013.

The Pentagon has scrapped the Twitter account of an agency that counters homemade explosives after it posted joking comments about a bombing in the Philippines, officials said Friday.

After explosions at two movie theaters in the Philippines, a staff member at the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Organization (JIEDDO) wrote in a Wednesday that perhaps the cinemas were showing the film "Gigli," a 2003 romantic comedy starring Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez that flopped at the box office.

"Were they re-showing Gigli? Bomb explosions occur at 2 in the Philippines... the IED is a global threat," said the post.

When the posting sparked critical reaction online, the agency tried to make another joke along the same lines. "Bad ppl doing bad thing didn't warrant bad movie reference. Will punish #socialmedia rep by forcing 2 watch Gigli," the agency wrote on its Twitter account.

After more negative reaction on Twitter, JIEDDO issued an apology. "Tweet was in poor taste. We apologize."

Pentagon press secretary George Little then promptly announced in a tweet that he had ordered the suspension of the JIEDDO Twitter account "following inappropriate and offensive tweets."

"Plainly unacceptable," he wrote.

JIEDDO, which was created to combat improvised explosive devices in Iraq and Afghanistan with multi-billion dollar funding, said in a statement Friday those responsible for the tweet "have been appropriately disciplined after an internal review."

The organization "has a policy and procedure in place for selecting and crafting social . That policy was not followed," spokesman David Small said.

"We sincerely apologize for the distasteful comment. Bottomline, there is nothing funny about an IED event."

Explore further: Hackers cause stir with 'Obama injured' AP tweet

Related Stories

Hackers cause stir with 'Obama injured' AP tweet

April 23, 2013

Hackers spooked markets Tuesday after breaking into the Associated Press's Twitter account and falsely reporting President Barack Obama had been injured after two blasts at the White House.

Tweet timing tells bots, people and companies apart

July 3, 2013

Tweet timing can differentiate individual, corporate and bot-controlled Twitter accounts independent of the language or content of a tweet, according to research published July 3 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Aldo ...

Recommended for you

Forget oil, Russia goes crazy for cryptocurrency

August 16, 2017

Standing in a warehouse in a Moscow suburb, Dmitry Marinichev tries to speak over the deafening hum of hundreds of computers stacked on shelves hard at work mining for crypto money.

Researchers clarify mystery about proposed battery material

August 15, 2017

Battery researchers agree that one of the most promising possibilities for future battery technology is the lithium-air (or lithium-oxygen) battery, which could provide three times as much power for a given weight as today's ...

Signs of distracted driving—pounding heart, sweaty nose

August 15, 2017

Distracted driving—texting or absent-mindedness—claims thousands of lives a year. Researchers from the University of Houston and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute have produced an extensive dataset examining how ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.