WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) – The Education Department is getting social media criticism after misspelling the name of a prominent African-American sociologist – and then mistyping again when apologizing for the error.
In a tweet Sunday morning from its official account, the department attributed a quotation to W.E.B. DeBois, incorrectly spelling the last name with an “E.”
It immediately drew hundreds of responses mocking the department’s misspelling of the sociologist’s last name, which is correctly spelled D-U B-O-I-S.
By midday, the department had posted a new tweet with the correct spelling and an apology. “Post updated – our deepest apologizes for the earlier typo,” it tweeted, drawing a wave of fresh responses noting a second typo. Soon after, the department corrected the word to “apologies.”
One commenter tweeted: “I love that your initial apology for a typo included a typo. We don’t need any further proof that DeVos runs this account,” referring to billionaire GOP donor Betsy DeVos, who was narrowly confirmed as education secretary last week with a tie-breaker vote by Vice President Mike Pence.
Others posted quizzical looks from African-American students.
Another tweeted: “Smooth move during #BlackHistoryMonth.”
A spokesperson for the Education Department said Sunday the misspellings had been made by a long-time department employee. He said a new review process was being put in place with additional staff to prevent future tweet errors.