Backlash after motorway crash post draws apology from Gigatown

The organisers of a Dunedin campaign for better internet have issued an apology following social media posts made after a serious car crash.

As part of Chorus' Gigatown competition, New Zealand towns and cities can earn points by posting the hashtags of their cities on social media sites.

However, that approach earned #GigatownDunedin - currently fourth in the competition - a rebuke on social media after it posted the following message concerning a two-car crash on Dunedin's Southern Motorway on Sunday night, ''Very sad to hear about another car crash in #GigatownDunedin. Our thoughts are with the families of the people involved.''

That post prompted replies from members, many of whom continued to use the point-scoring hashtag until the post was deleted following a backlash from upset users.

''This is the most disrespectful thing I have ever seen,'' wrote one Facebook member.

Yesterday, GigatownDunedin, which is run via the Dunedin Digital Office, issued an apology for ''comments made on our Facebook page regarding the terrible accident on the motorway last night. We understand that this may have been construed as a way of using the event to gain points, but would like to assure you the post was made out of genuine feeling and concern for all those involved.

''We apologise for any offence that the post has caused.

''There will be clear guidelines set out for all admins of this page to follow from now on. Our thoughts and prayers are with those involved and their families and friends.''

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