The Story Behind the Government's Weird Abe Lincoln Tide Pod Tweet

At least one government agency has good tweets.

Feb 12 2018, 9:44pm

Photo via @USCPSC Twitter account

Government-run social media accounts, excluding the president's, tend to be pretty normie. So when the official account for the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) tweeted an Abraham Lincoln meme that warned against the consumption of Tide Pods, people naturally had some questions.

"An oral history of this tweet, please," wrote one tweeter. "Truly, this is the weirdest timeline," another Twitter user mused. "Is this real life?" a third asked.

It's important to note that the Abe Lincoln Tide Pod meme is just the latest weird tweet from the CPSC. If you peruse its Twitter timeline, you'll notice lots of other odd safety warnings:

Still, like the people of Twitter, I needed to know more about the origins of the Abe Lincoln Tide Pod meme, so I reached out to Joseph Galbo, the social media specialist at the CPSC, to get the full story.

"We have randomly used presidents' birthdays, like other significant dates, to draw attention to safety issues," he explained in an email. "In that spirit, we used President Lincoln's birthday today to highlight a serious safety issue: the intentional ingestion of laundry pods, as well as the risk of unintentional usage."

This isn't the first time the CPSC has used weird presidential memes to promote its message of consumer safety. Check out this George Washington smoke alarm meme from June 2017:

So how did the CPSC staff decide to use Abraham Lincoln to promote the safe use of laundry pods?

"Like a lot of our graphics, putting this one together started with the stock photo. We were really drawn to that image of Lincoln. If you study his face, he’s looking toward the ground… concerned maybe? Pensive? About what? The intentional ingestion of laundry pods and the risk of unintentional usage? That’s what it looked like to us," Galbo said.

"In all seriousness, this is part of our larger strategy to reach people in new and exciting ways to help save lives," he explained. "We know product safety is not top-of-mind for everyone all the time. As one of the smaller federal regulatory agencies, we’re always looking for unique ways to cut through the noise and get people thinking about safety."

At least one government agency has a healthy sense of humor.

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Related: Why the Hell Are Teens Eating Tide Pods?

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