BBC sorry for offensive tweet about Rihanna being assaulted
BBC claims its Twitter feed was hacked after post making light of domestic violence
THE BBC has apologised after it appeared to condone rapper Chris Brown's violence against Rihanna on one of its official Twitter feeds.
Brown was sentenced to five years probation and 180 days' community service in 2009 after he attacked his then girlfriend Rihanna, leaving her bloody, bruised and swollen.
Just before 9pm last night, the official BBC Suffolk Twitter account sent a message to its 5,000 followers that said: "The weirder Rihanna's tattoos get, the less I blame Chris Brown."
Tweeters reacted furiously with messages such as "Completely unacceptable tweet, especially from the BBC" and "Please fire whoever is working on your Twitter feed."
Another lashed out, saying: "In case you think you've seen the dumbest tweets ever from media outlets, @BBCSuffolk comes along to remind you there is no bottom."
BBC Suffolk sent out a series of apologies once the tweet was brought to its attention, initially saying: "It appears something is up with our feed". It later added: "The recent offensive tweet has been deleted. It was unsanctioned by BBC Suffolk and in no way condoned. Sincere apologies… It is clear now that the earlier offensive tweet was a hack. We will learn from this."
Despite the apology, some Tweeters remained sceptical as to whether the account was hacked or if the message came from a rogue employee. One Tweeter wrote: "Job Vacancy at BBC Suffolk in the morning".
Another said: "Looks like someone at BBC Suffolk is about to get fired… Imagine the sheer panic on that person's face when they realise they accidentally tweeted that on their work account."
While Tom Jamieson, a writer for Private Eye, wrote: "Mental picture is a frantic Alan Partridge hurling his mobile out the window as he drives away at speed from his first day at BBC Suffolk."
A BBC spokesman has since pointed out that an identical message was posted on dozens of other accounts in the last few days.