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Habitat apologises for Twitter abuse

Furniture retailer Habitat has apologised for using the unrest in Iran to help it make sales through microblogging website Twitter.

Furniture retailer Habitat has apologised for using the unrest in Iran to help it make sales through microblogging website Twitter.

Habitat used key search words - known as hashtags on Twitter - such as Iran and Mousavi, which were unrelated to its postings, to get them viewed by as many people as possible.

People in Iran protesting about the recent election results have relied on Twitter to connect to the outside world.

Habitat deleted the offending material when Twitter users complained, and the company has now apologised.

"We would like to make a very sincere apology to any users who were offended by last week's activity on Twitter," it said in a statement.

It said it was not the retailer's intention to do this. "The top ten trending topics were pasted into hashtags without checking with us and apparently without verifying what all of the tags referred to. This was absolutely not authorised by Habitat. We were shocked when we discovered what happened and are very sorry for the offence that has been caused."

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