Twitter has been forced to apologise after it issued a string of fake tweets from the accounts of real users in a bid to promote one of its products.
The tech firm championed a new advertising service on its blog earlier this week, accompanied with bogus tweets attributed to three social networkers, who were apparently discussing commercials they had seen.
The blog was designed to promote one of the San Francisco based firm's latest ventures, which enables companies to promote their television advertisements on Twitter.
The micro-blogging site has now said sorry for the “mistake” and updated its site to attribute the endorsements to its own staff.
A note on its marketing webpage now reads: “An earlier version of this blog post included an image with mock tweets from real users of our platform.
“This was not OK.
“Once we became aware of this mistake, we took it down immediately.
“We deeply apologise to the three users included in the earlier images.”
One stated: “What is the song in the new barristabar commercial? I love it!!” and another read: “The barristabar ad is giving me the coffee shakes. Looks so good!”
But the tweets were all fictional and the social networkers were unaware their profiles had been used.
The company later tweeted the trio saying: “Hey Neil-Gottlieb, WilliamMazeo, subhash-tewari - so sorry about the confusion earlier today. We're fixing the problem now.”
Mr Mazeo, whose Twitter profile states he is from Brazil, replied: “Don't do this again.”
Mr Gottlieb, from Philadelphia, added: “Still curious how it happened.”