It’s altogether too easy to tweet out a spelling mistake. However, if you’re in charge of an official government account and you’re referencing an important civil rights activist during Black History Month, you really should double-check your tweet before you hit send.
This is what happened to the US Department of Education when it tweeted out an inspirational quote from WEB Du Bois.
Casting some serious shade, civil rights organisation the NAACP replied with their own quote (complete with the correct spelling).
Later, the Department of Education tweeted out an apology saying: “Post updated – our deepest apologizes for the earlier typo.” Yes – that’s right, the arm of the government in charge of teaching children made a second misspelling in one day. It doesn’t bode particularly well, does it?
.@usedgov *W.E.B. Du Bois
All good. Not like this is the official Twitter for the US Department of Education. 😒— Ryan Wyatt (@Fwiz) February 12, 2017
The slightly embarrassing tweet has since been deleted, and the department has updated both the spelling of Du Bois’s name and the apology.
"Education must not simply teach work - it must teach life." – W.E.B. Du Bois pic.twitter.com/hSg4R1rLHH— US Dept of Education (@usedgov) February 12, 2017
Post updated - our deepest apologies for the earlier typo.— US Dept of Education (@usedgov) February 12, 2017
Many people saw the whole debacle as just a bit of a fail.
the U.S department of education took 3 times to do something right that was equal to a third grade spelling bee pic.twitter.com/qoRmC3YRTg— Windy City Sports (@ThreeGuySports) February 12, 2017
Even schoolteachers weighed in, giving their advice.
as a public school teacher, it's important to embrace failures and learn from them. Slow down, it isn't a race. Proofreading helps.— Kelly Bailey (@drkvbailey) February 12, 2017
The error didn’t go unnoticed by Chelsea Clinton either.
Is it funny sad or sad funny that our Dept. of Education misspelled the name of the great W. E. B. Du Bois? https://t.co/egi6Nn15gp— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) February 12, 2017
And some people had some less than complimentary things to say about the new Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos – although we doubt she was manning the Twitter account herself this weekend.
OMG, it's DuBois. Who is in charge over there?...oh, wait, I get it.— Jennifer L. Morgan (@ProfJLMorgan) February 12, 2017
Whereas others were on hand to offer words of support.
just tweet through it. you got this.— Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) February 12, 2017
Keep working toward that proficiency! You can do it!— TerdoslavichFerguson (@soxdetox) February 12, 2017
It goes to show our teachers were actually right at school: always check your work.