Mass. Gov Tweets About Sex Assault Awareness, Completely Messes It Up

The Massachusetts State Government seems to be a bit confused, and in the worst way possible. Apparently in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the state government's official account @Massgov tweeted "sexual assault is always avoidable" — which is doubly horrifying because whoever tweeted it was kind of well-intentioned. In spite of a furious backlash on social media, the tweet stayed up for almost 12 hours. The Mass. Gov. Twitter account has since issued an apology in a series of tweets.

The tweet was posted at roughly 10:40 p.m. Wednesday by @Massgov, the official Twitter account for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, supposedly for the Sexual Assault Awareness Month of April. The idea of SAAM is to raise awareness of rape and sexual violence, especially focusing on young adults' relationship to sexuality. (Clearly, the @MassGov account didn't really get that.) After a heavy (and completely warranted) backlash on Twitter, with many people baffled and most others demanding that it be deleted, the tweet was then taken down at around 9 a.m. today.

An apology for the bizarre tweet was posted by Geoff Kula, Director of Mass.gov, around 10 a.m, Thursday morning."We in no way meant to suggest that victims of sexual assault are to blame for the crimes committed against them," they wrote in one of their apology tweets.

Which is even more mystifying — did they mean that the act of sexual assault is always avoidable? Because if so, then the answer should be: well...duh.

The misguided tweet comes at an ironic time — just as the White House releases new plans to crack down on sexual violence in colleges, and right as the Pentagon reported a 50 percent rise in the reporting of sexual assault. Maybe @Massgov should watch the White House's PSA.

Twitter has seen quite a lot of controversy this year, from horrifying U.S. Airways nudies you can never unsee, to 14-year-olds impersonating Al-Qaeda. It's also seen some political backfiring, like that time Greg Abbott thanked a supporter for insulting Wendy Davis. And then there's the odd bitter tweet from the Russians. This one really takes the cake, though.