POSTED: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 4:30pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 4:34pm
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — AT&T quickly deleted a tweet on Sept. 11 after drawing ire from Twitter users who accused the company of exploiting a national tragedy.
AT&T's original tweet included a hand holding up a smartphone, with the Tribute in Light memorial captured on the device's screen. The memorial features two columns of light representing the fallen Twin Towers. "Never Forget," the post said.
The tweet, which AT&T posted at 12:15 p.m. ET Wednesday, quickly went viral. Some Twitter users replied with expletives, while others called it "tacky," "disgusting" and "tasteless." Others threatened to switch carriers.
The tweet was up for only an hour before AT&T deleted it and posted an apology.
"We apologize to anyone who felt our post was in poor taste," AT&T said in the second tweet. "The image was solely meant to pay respect to those affected by the 9/11 tragedy."
AT&T didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
The apology wasn't enough to quell angry Twitter users, some of whom considered AT&T's mea-culpa to be tone-deaf.
"The apology is somehow more insulting," one wrote. Another called the attempt a "fauxpology."
AT&T posted the same image and message to the company's Facebook page, but that post remained up hours after the tweet was taken down on Wednesday afternoon.