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Mistaken Tweet Spurs Online Tiff Between Walmart, Senator

Retailer says snarky post to Josh Hawley tweeted in error by social media team member
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 31, 2020 8:00 AM CST

(Newser) – Everyone from Democrats to Mitch McConnell likely aren't happy with GOP Sen. Josh Hawley's announcement that he'll be challenging the certification of Joe Biden's electoral win in Congress on Jan. 6. Walmart, apparently inadvertently, added itself to that list. Politico notes that after Hawley announced his challenge intentions in a tweet on Wednesday, Walmart's corporate Twitter account responded. In the since-deleted post (Hawley saved a screenshot here), Walmart wrote: "Go ahead. Get your 2 hour debate," followed by the hashtag #soreloser. Hawley got wind of that reply, and a few hours later shot back, "Thanks @Walmart for your insulting condescension. Now that you've insulted 75 million Americans, will you at least apologize for using slave labor?"

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He added, "Or maybe you'd like to apologize for the pathetic wages you pay your workers as you drive mom and pop stores out of business." Walmart quickly responded—not in defense of the tweet or its business practices, but to apologize to Hawley, claiming the tweet was "mistakenly posted by a member of our social media team." The retailer told Business Insider that the employee meant to post it to a personal account, and it added in its mea culpa that it had "no intention" of weighing in on the electoral certification process. Per USA Today, Walmart's reaction led Twitter to do what Twitter usually does in such situations, resulting in thousands of comments and the #BoycottWalmart hashtag. One observer even wondered how a lower-rung worker could wield such power online. "So one junior employee can tweet on behalf of a mega corporation with a $407B market cap?" he tweeted. (Read more Walmart stories.)

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