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To delete a tweet, or not to delete a tweet, that is the question

To delete a tweet, or not to delete a tweet, that is the question

With a news cylce measured in seconds and minutes, not even hours, there are plenty of mainstream media mistakes, as I wrote yesterday, One lesson for mass killings: Don’t trust media reports for at least 24 hours.

Piers Morgan, for example, ran wild over the fact that the shooter used an AR-15, except it turned out the shooter didn’t.

So Morgan deleted some of his inaccurate and embarrassing tweets about the use of an AR-15 in the Navy Yard shooting.  In so doing, Morgan both deleted inaccurate information and his own political embarrassment.

That makes it harder for people (like me) to address Morgan’s politics on gun control — evidence has been removed from the internet. Well, fortunately, Twitchy grabbed the screen shots before Morgan’s deletion:

Twitchy Morgan AR-15 deleted tweets

But in many cases, someone’s Twitter or blog history is important in itself.

With a blog entry, one can update and correct, as Buzzfeed did yesterday, and Google Cache often (but not always) saves the original.  But with Twitter, there is no ability to change the tweet itself, only to issue a new tweet correcting the prior (Morgan has not done that, btw), and it is much harder to reconstruct deleted tweets.

The same issue exists as to the NY Daily News’ now infamous Cover which was sent out on Twitter, and resulted in this conversation:

I think it’s a close call. I understand Brit Hume’s point, and would agree if the issue were identification of the wrong person, for example. That “victim” deserves to have his or her name expunged from the news cycle.

In the case of the NY Daily News and Piers Morgan, however, deleting the history of their political embarrassment only diminishes the political conversation … for the next time something like this happens and people rush to judgment.

In the meantime, as we ponder this problem, I’m going back to my old habit of grabbing screenshots of Tweets, not relying on the Twitter link alone, because that link could disappear.


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This is the main reason I post comments here. There is no “Edit” feature, or delete key. I’d rather embarrass myself than go down the memory hole like a white rabbit.

There are no consequences for Morgan and the Daily News when they give out inaccurate information, or even lie about something. Will CNN fire him? No. Will he get deported? No. As long as he’s politically correct, he can and will continue. The truth is irrelevant. Did it matter than Zimmerman was innocent? I once worked at a large government contractor facility. A woman accused one of the staff of sexual harassment. Later she admitted she made it all up. Was she punished? No. Did his punishment continue? Yes. The truth was absolutely irrelevant. We have become Sovietized.

I can see both sides (especially in the case of traditional media outlets which, like it or don’t, many trust more than bloggers), but I’m in the “leave it up and issue a correction tweet or two” camp. (In some instances when I’ve tweeted incorrect information (when I thought it was a serious enough error), I’ve also gone back and commented on my own tweet, correcting the incorrect info. Problem solved.)

While it’s embarrassing to repeat, retweet, or react to a news report that later turns out to’ve been incorrect, I don’t so much blame the person who repeated it as the source of the bad information. (Yeah, I hold the “traditional media” to a higher standard than I do bloggers and other social media users, too.)

Everyone makes mistakes, overreacts, or otherwise puts out things they later wish they hadn’t (or at the very least, had handled differently). Owning up to being a human being with human foibles makes one more trustworthy in the long run.

    raijin in reply to repsac3. | September 18, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    The MSM rarely gets anything right. Every story has a “frame.” A template for how the story is written and what to leave out. We all know that stories about black on white crime, will usually fail to identify the race of the offender when the offender is black. Sometimes even when the offender is still at large and the story is supposed to provide a description. Another example. Zimmerman didn’t fit the desired frame because he was non-white. So the media just made him white. The MSM is generally useless as a source of accurate information. Read it the way Russians read Pravda and Izvestia. “There’s no news in The Truth and no truth in The News.

    Rosalie in reply to repsac3. | September 18, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Maybe I’m in the minority, but I totally do not trust the media nor hold them to a higher standard. They have proven many times over that they cannot be trusted. I do hold FOX to a higher standard but I don’t even watch them. Instead, I turn to blogs like this one that I feel I can trust.

Ah, here I’ve never tweeted at all. And, I can’t imagine carrying my telephone out with me, when I leave the house. It’s attached to my wall. And, an answering machine. And, it’s the way I like it.

Yesterday, I read about “twerking.” Didn’t know what it was. So I looked it up. Back in 2000 when Jimmy Rogers wrote his second book, he talked about seeing black African women dancers who could move one of their backside cheeks at a time. He said someone should bring it to Broadway. The show would be a sell out. Now, we have a “dance” called “twerking.”

It’s unbelievable what you can do with your behind.