Twitter's Jack Dorsey apologises for running neo-Nazi ad

An automated "mistake" heaps more bad publicity on the beleaguered social network...

Twitter's Jack Dorsey apologises for running neo-Nazi ad

Square CEO Jack Dorsey is interviewed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Already struggling to protect its users from harassment and clamp down on the amount of hate groups operating on its social network, Twitter has now had to apologise for promoting one such organisation itself.

In a fresh twist that its PR department won't have liked one bit, the site was caught accidentally running a neo-Nazi ad.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted an apology on Thursday, explaining that the automated system allowed a promoted tweet from a white supremacist organisation to present itself on people's screens.

Dorsey's acknowledgement was in response to a Motherboard story from Wednesday, which included a screenshot of the offending tweet from neo-Nazi group New Order, taken by LA musician and writer Ariana Lenarsky. New Order's account has now been removed and suspended.

It's a new kind of advertising problem for Twitter, which has been struggling to raise revenue this year. It has also failed to find a buyer, with Marc Benioff, the CEO of supposed frontrunner Salesforce, stating publicly that he would not be looking to acquire the site because of the "very severe challenges" the business faces. The company has lost a number senior figures this year, with highly-regarded chief operating officer Adam Bain most recently announcing his imminent departure.