The United States Air Force has issued an apology after an early Thursday morning joke on Twitter sparked outrage in the online community.
The original tweet said that the Taliban would prefer to hear "Yanny or Laurel" over the sounds of A-10 jets flying over the province of Farah, Afghanistan. The "BRRRT" refers to the roar of 30 mm GAU-8 Avenger rotary cannons that were used against Taliban forces, killing 30 security forces and civilians as well as hundreds of insurgents. Super funny, right?
"The Taliban Forces in Farah city #Afghanistan would much rather have heard #Yanny or #Laurel than the deafening #BRRRT they got courtesy of our #A10."
@usairforce https://t.co/Wto9AOebxQ— Jason “Shakey” “Mess” Messersmith. (@Jason “Shakey” “Mess” Messersmith.)1526601777.0
In their apology, the USAF said that the joke was in "poor taste" and that they are "addressing it internally."
"We apologize for the earlier tweet regarding the A-10. It was made in poor taste and we are addressing it internally. It has since been removed."
We apologize for the earlier tweet regarding the A-10. It was made in poor taste and we are addressing it internall… https://t.co/OE7hVnscE8— U.S. Air Force (@U.S. Air Force)1526578127.0
"Yanny" and "Laurel" are the subjects of an Internet recording in which people are asked to identify which word they hear. Some hear Yanny, some hear Laurel, and some hear it as one superimposed over the other. The audio file went viral earlier this week, as friends and family challenged each other in the same manner as who sees a blue or gold dress (remember that?).
The recording is actually of the word "Laurel," but is polluted with background noise in such a way that the human brain misinterprets the speaker.
Responses to the Air Force's apology varied wildly on Twitter. Many thought the joke was insensitive to the loss of human life and trillions of dollars that have been sunk into the war in Afghanistan (which is the longest American war ever).
@usairforce I also enjoy joking about being stuck in a multi-trillion dollar quagmire of a war.— Devin (@Devin)1526602724.0
@usairforce @CalNBC No, they're right to remove it. Our nation's Air Force communications shouldn't be writing cute… https://t.co/07FOMeEdQS— Christian La Mont (@Christian La Mont)1526579158.0
Others defended the military branch, citing the mantra that the United States should never apologize for anything. Ever.
@usairforce I'll bet the Marines wouldn't have apologized.— Myrddraal (@Myrddraal)1526602838.0