A think tank whose official Twitter account told Amnesty International to “suck it” early Tuesday has blamed the lewd tweet on an intern.
A spokesman for the Center for Strategic and International Studies told TPM on Tuesday by email that he was “embarrassed about this unfortunate situation” and was working to reach out to Amnesty International with a more thorough apology.
The Twitter account for CSIS, a bipartisan Washington-based think tank, sent the offending tweet to Amnesty International early Tuesday after the human rights organization accused the U.S. of hypocrisy amid the police response to unrest in Ferguson, Mo.
Did this really just happen? pic.twitter.com/CkVEkrdoGH
— Allen McDuffee (@AllenMcDuffee) August 19, 2014
The original tweet was deleted shortly after it was sent, and the CSIS account tweeted out an apology a little over an hour later, flagged by Mashable.
Our sincerest apologies to @Amnesty & our followers. Our last tweet was sent in error. We’re reviewing internal policies for social media.
— CSIS (@CSIS) August 19, 2014
In an email to TPM, Andrew Schwartz, senior vice president for external relations at CSIS, said an intern made the error.
“It was sent by a CSIS intern who had access to our account for monitoring purposes,” Schwartz told TPM. “Apparently he meant to send something reflecting his personal views from his personal Twitter account.”
Schwartz said the think tank intends to address the matter internally. He emphasized that tweet does not reflect the views of any scholars at CSIS or the institution.
“I have reached out via email to Amnesty and will follow up with a phone call as well to apologize to Amnesty and their colleagues.” he added.
Here’s Schwartz’s email:
I am embarrassed about this unfortunate situation and the tweet doesn’t reflect anyone’s views at CSIS or the institution as a whole. My colleagues are equally distressed about this.
I have reached out via email to Amnesty and will follow up with a phone call as well to apologize to Amnesty and their colleagues.
Here’s what happened: Early this morning, an unconscionable tweet was directed to Amnesty from CSIS’s Twitter account (@CSIS). The tweet in no way reflects CSIS’s views. It was sent by a CSIS intern who had access to our account for monitoring purposes. Apparently he meant to send something reflecting his personal views from his personal Twitter account. I find his views and the way he expressed them to be abhorrent and will take appropriate action at CSIS to address the matter internally.
Again, the tweet in no way reflects CSIS’s views or any views of the scholars at CSIS. I personally apologize to Amnesty and am taking action internally at CSIS to address this incident.