Twitter has apologised after it sent a string of fake tweets from the accounts of real users to champion one of its products.
The tech firm promoted a new advertising service on its blog earlier this week and accompanied the spiel with bogus tweets attributed to three social networkers.
The micro-blogging site has now said sorry for the "mistake" and updated its site to attribute the endorsements to its own staff.
A note on its marketing webpage now reads: "An earlier version of this blog post included an image with mock tweets from real users of our platform.
"This was not OK.
"Once we became aware of this mistake, we took it down immediately.
"We deeply apologise to the three users included in the earlier images."
The blog was designed to promote one of the San Francisco firm's latest ventures, which enables companies to promote their television advertisements on Twitter.
It featured three posts from real users apparently discussing commercials they had seen.
One stated "What is the song in the new @barristabar commercial? I love it!!" and another read: "The @barristabar ad is giving me the coffee shakes. Looks so good!"
But the tweets were all fictional and the social networkers were unaware their profiles had been used.
The company later tweeted the trio saying: "Hey @Neil_Gottlieb, @WilliamMazeo, @subhash_tewari - so sorry about the confusion earlier today. We're fixing the problem now."
Mazeo, whose Twitter profile states he is from Brazil, replied: "Don't do this again."
Gottlieb, from Philadelphia, added: "Still curious how it happened."