Government travel warnings do not typically result in controversy. But the US State Department's latest travel-warning campaign managed to do just that on Wednesday, after the department's Bureau of Consular Affairs tweeted a warning that was quickly lampooned as sexist and bizarre.
"Not a '10' in the US? Then not a 10 overseas," the tweet read. "Beware of being lured into buying expensive drinks or worse — being robbed. #springbreakingbadly"
Presumably, the tweet was trying to warn spring breakers that if they receive an unusual amount of friendly attention abroad, it may be because they're being lured into a scam. The internet predictably lit up in response.
A parody account was quickly set up mocking the State Department.
if you are a— Travel Gov (@Travel_Gov) March 30, 2016
The Bureau of Consular Affairs also offered up another warning to would-be travelers who might think they've lucked out with a free trip and free luggage.
The parody account had an answer for that tweet as well.
Somebody offered you a free trip abroad, but the free luggage they offered is lined with cocaine. DO YOU ACCEPT— Travel Gov (@Travel_Gov) March 30, 2016
It did not take long for the State Department to realize its mistake; the "10" tweet was quickly removed and an apology was issued: "Some have been offended by our earlier tweet and we apologize that it came off negatively," it read. "We see many Americans fall victim to scams each year & want all to be careful while traveling (2/2)"
The Bureau of Consular Affairs' Twitter account was being run at the time by people named Kaitlin and Alyssa, according to the account's description. The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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