NEW YORK – AT&T and some other companies learned quickly on Wednesday, the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, that it's sometimes best to stay out of the conversation. Even if everyone else is talking.
Twitter was aflutter with American flags, bald eagles and photos of the New York City skyline on Wednesday, and the hashtag "neverforget" was one of the top trends on the microblogging site all day.
But one post in particular, from AT&T Inc.'s official Twitter account, caught flak from bloggers and Twitter users. They criticized the company for seeming to use the tragedy to advertise phones to its 285,000 followers.
The photo, which was also posted on Instagram and Facebook, showed a hand holding a smartphone against the New York skyline, appearing to be taking a photo of the twin lights that illuminate the city's sky on the anniversary of the attacks each year.
After criticism that ranged from "tacky" to profanities, Dallas-based AT&T removed the photo and said: "We apologize to anyone who felt our post was in poor taste. The image was solely meant to pay respect to those affected by the 9/11 tragedy."