The subject of the tweet from Spanish news agency Efe could hardly have been more serious.
The brief message carried the news that the Spanish prime minister — currently drumming up business in China — had sent his condolences to French President Francois Hollande after jihadists beheaded Frenchman Herve Gourdel in Algeria.
But Efe raised more than a few eyebrows with its choice of hashtag when referred to the Spanish leader.
— Info y Emergencias (@Cieminfo) September 25, 2014
Instead of tweeting #MarianoRajoy, the message read #MarianoMariquita. While the word mariquita literally means ladybird, it can also be used as a mildly offensive slang word for homosexuals, translating roughly as 'fairy' or 'poof'.
Efe was quick to apologize to its followers and to the prime minister for the mistake, saying predictive text had to been to blame for the unfortunate mistake.
EFE pide disculpas a sus seguidores y al presidente Mariano Rajoy por una etiqueta ofensiva generada, por error, en la lista de sugerencias.
— EFE Noticias (@EFEnoticias) September 25, 2014
A message then appeared on Mariano Rajoy's Twitter account not long afterwards, thanking Efe for the explanation and the apology and praising the agency for its professionalism.
.@EFENoticias gracias por la aclaración y disculpa; olvidemos esta anécdota que no representa la profesionalidad ejemplar de vuestra agencia
— Mariano Rajoy Brey (@marianorajoy) September 25, 2014