Latest Facebook Gaffe Sees Kentucky Woman Mistaken For ‘Westworld’ Bot

Facebook gaffe ends in embarassment
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Facebook just can’t catch a break these days; only recently after the global media attention surrounding the company’s data scandal abated, it’s now in the hot seat once again after a promotion about the hit HBO show Westworld went wrong, causing a headache for one Kentucky woman. Lisa McKinley West of Florence, Kentucky, soon found her inbox flooded with messages after an error mistakenly directed thousands of fans to her page with their comments about the TV show.

After Facebook’s verified Messenger account sent out a tweet mistakenly linking followers to West’s account, fans immediately took notice, according to Tech Crunch, but the post stayed up for hours before finally being removed. While the intention had been to direct fans to an account run by HBO promoting the new season of its sci-fi Western drama, West instead received the unsolicited message request in her own inbox.

Facebook quickly moved to amend the problem, tweeting out the appropriate link shortly after. Lisa West appeared to laugh off the mistake, jokingly noting to Tech Crunch that she deserved the attention thanks to the way she had labeled her account.

“Guess that’s what I get for calling my home Westworld lol,” West texted Tech Crunch.

In a brief statement, Facebook apologized for the gaffe, making it clear that not too many messages had flooded through and that the company had acted quickly to fix the issue.

“For a short time this morning, a tweet from the Messenger Twitter account incorrectly linked people to message an individual person, instead of the intended bot for Messenger. As soon as we became aware of the error, we immediately corrected it. We’re very sorry for any trouble or confusion this caused,” a spokesperson for the social media behemoth told Tech Crunch.

Facebook sends users to wrong account
  Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Cross-platform marketing efforts like this aren’t particularly new, and they continue to drum up sizable results. Westworld remains one of HBO’s most popular dramas, with the show’s second season debuting with over 2 million viewers, according to Deadline.

The sci-fi/Western blend explores a future where incredibly human-like robots called “host” are used to populate a park where visitors adventure in, and remains a hit on digital streaming platforms primarily used by younger audiences. After HBO’s colossal Game of Thrones, the show drew the network’s second-biggest premiere night, and continues to be one of its leading programs for attracting new streamers.