February 24, 2016 1:55 am
Updated: February 26, 2016 12:30 pm

Montreal Canadiens’ automated Twitter campaign backfires

WATCH ABOVE: The Montreal Canadiens organization is getting a harsh lesson in social media after it tried to celebrate one million Twitter followers. Global's Kelly Greig explains.


MONTREAL – On Tuesday night, the Montreal Canadiens‘ official Twitter account said it would “celebrate one million Twitter followers with a few surprises for you!”

The Habs certainly provided that for their followers, but not in the way they had hoped.

The team celebrated the milestone by sending out automated messages to Twitter followers who contacted them.

A screen-grab of one of the tweets in question.

Montreal Canadiens/Twitter

Several of the messages featured custom avatar jerseys emblazoned with the names of Twitter users.

Some users with offensive Twitter handles were then added to the jersey avatar and sent out on the team’s official account.

A screen-grab of one of the tweets in question.

Montreal Canadiens/Twitter

Many of the usernames featured racial slurs, some of which were directed at Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban.

WATCH: The Montreal Canadiens’ Twitter account was set up to automatically welcome new followers. But as Mike Armstrong reports, filters didn’t stop offensive and racist Twitter handles from getting through.

A similar social media campaign backfired on the NFL’s New England Patriots back in 2014.

The team’s official account sent out an automated message that included an avatar with a Twitter handle containing a racial slur.

The Habs have since issued an apology.

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