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.

Filed Under: beijing, china, crazy bad, pollution, twitter

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  1. icon
    pringerX (profile), 24 Nov 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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