- The State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs apologized after controversial tweets warning travelers
- Many Twitter users expressed their feeling that the tweet was sexist
As part of a series of tweets using "#springbreakingbadly," the @TravelGov account sent: "Not a '10' in the US? Then not a 10 overseas. Beware of being lured into buying expensive drinks or worse—being robbed. #springbreakingbadly."
Many Twitter users expressed their feeling that the tweet was sexist. In response, the account said, "We made no mention of gender. This can happen to anyone unfortunately."
In what was likely the first case of an official government statement denying an agency attempt to "neg anyone," the Bureau of Consular Affairs tweeted: "We're not trying to neg anyone -- just trying to warn folks about overseas scam artists."
"We apologize for a tweet sent on March 30 that offended people, and we understand that the tweet's tone was construed negatively," the State Department said in a statement, also noting the Bureau of Consular Affairs "conducts a Spring Break outreach campaign annually."
The @TravelGov account has served as one of many outreach tools the State Department uses to keep travelers aware of risks
throughout the globe, ranging from serious, direct guidance to the more colorful advice of the kind seen Wednesday.
Another tweet read: "Somebody offered you a free trip abroad, but the free luggage they offered is lined with cocaine. Beware of these scams #springbreakingbadly."
After several hours of criticism, the account issued a two-part apology -- at some point apparently deleting the second half. The deletion, according to State Department spokesperson Ashley Garrigus, was due to "a technical glitch."
"Some have been offended by our earlier tweet and we apologize that it came off negatively (1/2)," read the first tweet.
The second half of the message read: "We see many Americans fall victim to scams each year & want all to be careful while traveling."
The full apology was posted again about an hour after the initial posting with the same language as before.
At the time of these tweets, the @TravelGov account's description read, "Currently on Duty: Kaitlyn & Alyssa."