The State Department apologized for a tweet earlier today which confused, amused, and offended potential spring break travelers by essentially saying that they probably weren’t hot enough to attract strangers while vacationing abroad.
The now-deleted tweet was sent out from the Bureau of Consular Affairs Twitter account, TravelGov, which spent most of the day cautioning travelers about the dangers of cocaine suitcases and pirated DVDs.
“@TravelGov: Not a ‘10’ in the US? Then not a 10 overseas. Beware of being lured into buying expensive drinks or worse — being robbed. #springbreakingbadly”
A state department official told Inverse that the tweet wasn’t meant to offend.
“The intent was simply to warn U.S. citizens of common scams that can happen while traveling overseas. It was not meant to offend any one person or group of people,” the official said in an email.
The official did not say who runs the TravelGov account, or whether they kept their job, but the department’s tweets today paint the picture of spring break as a wild acid-trip adventure that will probably leave you in a foreign jail on drug smuggling charges. The State Department official apologized that the tweet’s “tone was construed negatively,” and said that their intent was only to protect U.S. citizens from scams and keep them safe while traveling.
TravelGov’s #springbreakingbadly warnings and reminders got out of hand quickly, basically ensuring that American citizens viewed any foreign citizens with as much suspicion as possible, because they’re all probably cocaine-smuggling honeypot scammers out to take your money and dignity.
Here’s a screenshot of the original “Not a 10” tweet.
Unfortunately, the State Department official declined to rate me on a scale of 1-10, after I sent them a link to my Facebook account, or even to define what the State Department considered a “10” to be.
Not all of their tweets were offensive, though — this one is borderline helpful.
Others were a little more extreme.
And the internet took #springbreakingbadly and ran with it. Within a few hours, a parody account had sprung up and asked TravelGov to rate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on a scale of 1-10.
The State Department official also did not say whether traveling abroad was more or less dangerous for attractive people. They eventually tweeted an apology for the initial tweet.
Stay classy, TravelGov, and stay safe, spring breakers.