US Embassy Accidentally Calls Beijing's Pollution 'Crazy Bad'

from the truth-in-advertising dept

This is pretty amusing. Apparently, the US embassy in Beijing has run a Twitter account @beijingair for some time, which automatically generates tweets describing the pollution conditions in Beijing, reporting the specifics, and a description, such as "Very Unhealthy" or "Hazardous." However, at some point last week, the system blew a bit of a gasket and reported that the pollution level in Beijing was "crazy bad." US officials apparently took down the tweet and apologized, with people assuming that the language was a "joke embedded in the embassy's monitoring program and triggered by a reading that was off the normal scale."

While the US removed it to avoid diplomatic issues, apparently, people in Beijing who saw it, appreciated it:
Several residents said "crazy bad" was refreshingly frank, particularly given the reluctance of Chinese officials to disclose real-time pollution data or any measurements of ozone or PM2.5 particulate matter.

US embassy spokesman, Richard Buangan, said the "crazy bad" term was a mistake that has been corrected. "It was an inadvertent humorous moment," he said. "We thought it might blow up in our faces. But looking at the Twitter feed, we are seen as heroes."
Never underestimate how refreshing a bit of honesty can be coming out of political circles.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
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    RikuoAmero (profile), Nov 23rd, 2010 @ 4:07pm

    So this won't be the accident that starts World War III?

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2010 @ 5:27pm

      Re:

      No, Bush not invading North Korea when it had a chance will be that.

      We can see the consequences today with North Korea bombing the South Korean which can drag the U.S., China, Japan and Russia into a big conflict.

       

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        The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Nov 23rd, 2010 @ 6:35pm

        Re: Re:

        Shelled not bombed.

        That said, invading a nation run by a psychotic and possessing nukes is an idea that should be avoided if possible. It'd cause much less loss of life to pull the 30k troops we have there already out and just turn strategic bits of the North into shiny bits of glass with our own nukes. At the very least it wouldn't be us dying and I consider that the foundation of nearly any good strategy.

         

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        nasch (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 2:10pm

        Re: Re:

        Yeah, if only we invaded more countries, things would be better.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2010 @ 4:41pm

    Like the U.S. is any better when it comes to pollution. We're one of the worst offenders yet we point fingers at everyone else.

     

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      ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Nov 23rd, 2010 @ 5:15pm

      Re:

      We have a lot to answer for there, but remember that this was a device built by Americans and 'Crazy Bad' was a reading they weren't ever expecting to see.

       

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      bob, Nov 23rd, 2010 @ 5:35pm

      Re:

      You should really take a trip to Peking China on a good day the air is as bad as a bad day in LA.

      So I present to you that you do not know of what you speak.

      CO2 is not an air pollutant, and trees at night give off CO2.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2010 @ 5:49pm

        Re: Re:

        "So I present to you that you do not know of what you speak."

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions

        U.S. ranks number two and they have a much smaller population than China, which ranks number 1. So the U.S. has the highest pollution rate per capita.

         

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          ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Nov 23rd, 2010 @ 7:06pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          For CO2, sure.

          Beijing's residents probably will not take much comfort in that news.

           

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          Jason, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 6:02am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yeah, as CHT suggested you have to take airborne fecal particulates into account. Washington DC notwithstanding, we're way behind China on that count.

           

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2010 @ 5:51pm

        Re: Re:

        "CO2 is not an air pollutant, and trees at night give off CO2.'

        This discussion is not about whether or not CO2 is toxic and to what extent, it's about how the U.S. likes to point fingers at others but not at itself.

         

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          monkyyy, Nov 23rd, 2010 @ 6:14pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          while co2 is a pollutant the main problem is the "PM2.5 particulate matter" the thing about co2 is that its natural our bodys CAN get rid of it. what is bad is the the stuff thats really small and embeds itself in the lung tissue which the usa is trying to cut down on, china not so much

           

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          The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Nov 23rd, 2010 @ 6:39pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Have you been hiding under a rock since the 60's? We have an entire political party dedicated to pointing their fingers at us.

           

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      The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Nov 23rd, 2010 @ 6:36pm

      Re:

      Wow, that's some quality wrongness you have there. China is worse than us by a hell of a lot.

       

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      Chargone (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 1:13pm

      Re:

      ... i dunno, some parts of china are pretty epic on the whole pollution scale thing...

      that said, we don't hear much about polution in the USA here, so who knows? *shrugs* parts of eastern europe used to be pretty terrible too. don't know what they're like now.

       

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    Chris in Utah (profile), Nov 23rd, 2010 @ 5:06pm

    George Carlin may he rest in peace

    And I think Americans really show their ignorance when they say they want their politicians to be honest. What are these fucking critons talking about? If honesty were suddenly introduced into American life, the whole system would collapse! No one would know what to do! Honesty would fuck this country up! and I think deep down Americans know that, and that's why they elected and re-elected Bill Clinton. Because the American people like their bullshit right out front where they can get a good, strong wiff of it. Clinton might be full of shit, but at least he lets you know it. Dole tried to hide it, didn't he? Dole kept saying: "I am a plain and honest man". Bullshit! People don't blieve that. What did Clinton say? "Hi folks, I am completely full of shit and how do you like that?" And the people said: "You know something? At least he's honest about being completely full of shit".

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2010 @ 5:37pm

    the tweet before the miss tweet went

    It fucking bad....in revision it went to "crazy bad"

    then our china overlords started demanding money so it was changed to...."its ok"

     

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    interval (profile), Nov 23rd, 2010 @ 8:17pm

    So I guess...

    ..."crazy, f'd up, 3-eyed baby-makin' bad..." would be a declaration of war.

     

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    WhiteSnow, Nov 23rd, 2010 @ 8:49pm

    It's mostly China with the world pollution but one only needs to see Bangkok, Thailand or Dhaka,Bangladash or even New Delhi, India to know their poison flows eat to America.

    Maybe, America isn't the biggest pollution depot....maybe, when they take their pollution tests in America it's actually someone else's pollution.

     

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    David Lagesse, Nov 23rd, 2010 @ 11:26pm

    Bad Air Polution in Beijing?

     

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    David Lagesse, Nov 23rd, 2010 @ 11:31pm

    Bad Air Polution in Beijing?

    At least our athletes haven't had to go there, and breath that foul air for the Olympics!

    Oh! Just a minute, I just had a bad spell of Old-Timers Disease... Never-mind!

     

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    Ryan Diederich, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 5:29am

    The US isnt as bad...

    You COULD have the olympics just about anywhere in the US without worrying about pollution. China actually needed to shut down factories.

    Nonetheless, the United States are out of money,, and its understandable that they arent participating in clean energy ventures.

    The Chinese, on the other hand, have plenty of cash, but still dont work on cleaning up.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 7:24am

    Surprised they didn't censor it and try to send someone to jail. Once again China poisons or outright kills people and ignores it. The pictures of Chinese cities are enough to keep me away. I don't want to do business with them at all and resent the fact that I am forced to buy their goods because no one else manufactures the basic necessities in our stores. Try to find one product that you need in everyday life, that is NOT made in China. Goo luck. We should make that a scavenger hunt.

     

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    pringerX (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:16am

    The US is aware of its impact and trying to reduce it (successful or not). China may be aware of the pollution, but they are more interested in developing the nation than reducing pollution, so their output can only increase. It's not exactly the pot calling the kettle black, because the kettle is indeed dirtier.

     

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