State Dept. apologizes for Tweet urging US travelers to be wary if they're 'not a 10'
'Tourist with backpack taking a picture' [Shutterstock]

By Elle Hunt, The Guardian


Bureau of consular affairs acknowledges #springbreakingbadly tweet warning ugly Americans to be wary in bars when overseas was probably not a good look

The US state department’s bureau of consular affairs has apologized for warning Americans to be aware of the limitations of their own attractiveness while travelling overseas.

The department shared the travel tip with the 510,000 followers of its official Twitter account on Thursday, as part of its series of “#springbreakingbadly” tweets, intended to warn students traveling outside the US for spring break to be vigilant.

The since-deleted tweet suggested that US travelers who were not attractive enough to be bought drinks in bars at home should not expect that to change while overseas, and to be on their guard should anyone try to suggest otherwise.

“Not a ‘10’ in the US? Then not a 10 overseas. Beware of being lured into buying expensive drinks or worse – being robbed. #springbreakingbadly”

The tweet caused confusion, offense and crises of individual Twitter users’ self-esteem.

The tweet was deleted, and a two-part apology issued.

Another tweet deleted by the account, screenshot by Jezebel (which headlined its take “State department: don’t get your hopes up, traveling uggos”) warned of online friendships: “Meet your mate online and now he needs you to send him money overseas? it might be a scam – don’t fall victim to it! #springbreakingbadly

It was a case of outreach on social media going one step too far, with the rest of @TravelGov’s #springbreakingbadly tweets proffering helpful, if – you’d hope – fairly obvious advice.