Mon, May 14, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Bureau regrets blocking blogger for finding errors

‘REALLY INAPPROPRIATE’:The Tourism Bureau said that Kathy Cheng was blocked from its Twitter account due to the negligence of staff members in its New York office

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The Tourism Bureau yesterday said that it has unblocked a blogger who pointed out errors in its US tourism material and has allowed her to access its Twitter account again, adding that all of the bureau’s overseas branches have been asked to review their tourism campaign posts on social media.

The bureau issued a statement after blogger Kathy Cheng pointed out multiple mistakes in its posts on Twitter and Instagram last month. They were produced by the firm Tiger Party, which was recruited by the bureau’s New York office.

Cheng identified several problems, which included spelling errors, grammar mistakes and unverified statements.

She was subsequently blocked from accessing the bureau’s Twitter account after reposting the errors on Facebook.

“We were informed on April 18 that the tourism campaign material produced by the contractor contained errors and used an incorrect photograph. We then notified our office in New York and our contractor to review all the material they posted on social media. They were told to correct all the errors immediately,” the bureau said. “Staff members in our New York office were also ordered to monitor the quality of the posts on social media from now on.”

Chen was blocked from the bureau’s Twitter account due to negligence on the part of staff in New York, the bureau said.

The move “was really inappropriate,” the bureau said, adding that the New York office was asked on April 21 to apologize to the blogger and unblock her.

As some of the bureau’s overseas offices have established and managed social media accounts themselves, staff at those offices have been asked to evaluate their accounts and suspend them if they serve no practical purpose, the bureau said.

“The use of these accounts should only be resumed after more effective ways to utilize them are identified,” the bureau said, adding that this would avoid situations such as accounts not providing up-to-date information for tourists.

“We humbly accept all kinds of criticism to help us refine the quality of our tourism campaigns,” the bureau said. “We will also continue reviewing our online tourism campaign strategies and their effectiveness, and welcome all members of the public to work with us.”

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