Delta Air Lines Apologizes for Giraffe Gaffe

The Delta logo is seen at Kennedy Airport in the Queens borough of New York City.
The Delta logo is seen at Kennedy Airport in the Queens borough of New York City. Andrew Burton / Getty Images

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Delta Air Lines Inc. apologized Tuesday for a tweet meant to congratulate the U.S. soccer team for its win over Ghana but which critics said was ignorant or offensive.

Delta gave the tweet the equivalent of a referee's red card: The airline pulled the post after criticism on social media.

Monday's tweet had the final score of the World Cup game, 2-1. It showed the Statue of Liberty to represent the U.S., and used a giraffe to symbolize Ghana.

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But giraffes aren't native to Ghana, a West African country with more than 25 million people.

In a statement on its website, Delta said that the tweet "was both inaccurate and inappropriate."

Atlanta-based Delta, which has nearly 690,000 followers on Twitter, said that it is reviewing its procedures "to ensure that future images and posts reflect both our values and our global focus." A spokeswoman said that no one had gotten in trouble for the tweet.

According to its website, Delta flies to Accra, Ghana, from Kennedy Airport in New York.

Delta is not the first company to stumble on social media.

In April, US Airways apologized after accidentally tweeting a picture of a naked woman to a customer who had complained about a delayed flight. The employee was not punished for what a spokesman called an honest mistake. Chrysler, Home Depot and others have also apologized after tweets that drew criticism.

- Associated Press