In 2014, a Twitter user called Immy ‘Badman’ Bugti sent a message to the retailer Argos via Twitter. Frustrated by shortages of PS4 games consoles in Manchester, Bugti wrote:

YO wen u getting da ps4 tings in moss side? Ain’t waitin no more. Plus da asian guy whu works dere got bare attitude #wasteman

The Argos Helpers account promptly replied:

Safe badman, we gettin sum more PS4 tings in wivin da next week y’get me. Soz bout da attitude, probz avin a bad day yo.6

The exchange went viral, as have many such exchanges: firms such as Virgin Trains, Greggs, Waterstones, Tesco and many more have briefly become social media stars for their sassy replies, tweets that may have helped with the organisations’ online images.

It’s not all ...

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