The Tweet Read ‘Round the Interwebs

So, in case you haven’t heard, CNN reported that Morgan Freeman died today. And then they retracted that statement. And then they apparently denied ever reporting the misinformation at all.

I even read the above tweet out loud to my co-workers. Upon further investigation I realized some things that were odd. First, when you click on the CNN name, it led to the cable network’s Twitter page with no such tweet attached.

Second, CNN Breaking News didn’t report it – they usually tweet information faster than the main news account.

Also, nothing was on TMZ’s website – and you know how fast they send out info!

And then lastly, and what was more surprising to me than anything, there was no big backlash from the mistweet. How is that possible? He did not trend at all, and yet Blake Edwards who died the night before remained on the trending list all day long.

In the coming days, we’ll find out what happened, but until then this fake news gem does pose an interesting quandary. If CNN never sent it – how do news organizations control misinformation affiliated with them? For a few moments we assumed CNN reported it, but if they didn’t – who’s behind that damaging tweet? And why? And why Morgan Freeman for God’s sakes!

RT @CNN becomes a scapegoat and retweets slowly become ‘fact’ – when in reality it may not be.

Hopefully this isolated incident does not become common. And maybe Twitter will get on it and put some kind of controls on where and how tweets are sent.


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