Air Force apologizes for tone-deaf tweet trying to join viral debate

The U.S. Air Force walked back a tweet Thursday about the viral debate over whether a sound clip sounds like the word “Yanny” or “Laurel.”

The military branch’s official account had initially joked that Taliban fighters wished they heard either word instead of the Air Force’s A-10 jet aircraft.

“The Taliban Forces in Farah city #Afghanistan would much rather have heard #Yanny or #Laurel than the defeaning #BRRRT they got courtesy of our #A10,” the Air Force tweeted, deploying a number of hashtags to engage in the conversation about the popular audio clip.

For the past few days the internet has been split over whether a robotic voice was saying “Yanny” or “Laurel.” The debate is similar to the infamous “the dress” debate in 2015 about whether a viral photo was of a black and blue or white and gold garment.

The Air Force used the latest meme to promote a strike this week in In Afghanistan, where military planes attempted to prevent the fall of Farah city in an assault from Taliban forces, “eliminat[ing]” 26 enemy combatants. The tweet was criticized for making light of the war effort that has been ongoing in Afghanistan since October 2001. In the first nine months of 2017, at least 205 Afghan civilians were killed and another 261 were injured in airstrikes.

“We apologize for the earlier tweet regarding the A-10,” posted the Air Force on Twitter hours after the initial attempt at virality. “It was made in poor taste and we are addressing it internally. It has since been removed.”

As of publication the post is still up on Facebook, where some users are encouraging the Air Force to leave the post up and not apologize.

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