We reported Tuesday on two Democratic strategists who are notoriously wrong. One of them has more than a million Twitter followers. They shared a June 2021 Salon article about Ron DeSantis’s legislation. They thought 1) it was a new story (it wasn’t, obviously) and 2) they were treating the piece as the gospel truth, even though the piece was a distortion of what DeSantis actually signed.
The original tweet can be viewed below as a screengrab. It is still available on Twitter at the time of writing. The story was also republished and shared by fraudsters at The Lincoln Project, former Sen. Claire McCaskill, (D-Mo).
Fake news tweet still up. cc: @birdwatch @TwitterGov pic.twitter.com/2rb8FwXDtJ
— Sister Toldjah 🌻 (@sistertoldjah) July 7, 2022
Politifact and RedState debunked the claims about the bill in the headline a year ago. However, the original story was not corrected. Twitter’s “disinformation experts”, who allow it to be shared thousands upon thousands of times without any misinformation label, allowed it to continue to be shared by many other journalists. Others journalists shared the link, apparently unaware that the story was over a year old and completely misrepresented the legislation.
Although Jay O’Brien, ABC News’s Florida reporter, and Peter Schorsch, Florida Politics’ publisher, alerted Cooper and others who shared the story about the inaccuracy of the story they were sharing with them both the post was still up.
However, CNN’s Daniel Dale noticed the controversy over the recirculating story over the past few days. Although Dale is more known for his roles as both an enabler and an apologist for Democrats he still contacted Salon’s editors regarding the year-old story. The editors eventually agreed that the headline needed to change.
It was changed from “DeSantis signs Florida student, professors bill to register political opinions with the state” to “DeSantis signs bill requiring survey on Florida students, faculty about their political views”:
Salon has now changed a 2021 headline that falsely said “DeSantis signs bill requiring Florida students, professors to register political views with state.” The survey is optional for students/profs and anonymous (though some have expressed concerns about potential to be IDed). pic.twitter.com/EIf589mInO
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) July 7, 2022
Here is Dale’s response from Salon’s executive editors about why the decision to change it was made:
Here’s a comment from Salon’s executive editor, who says the editor of the article in 2021 defended the bad headline, but the publication has now concluded it “conveyed a misleading impression of what the Florida law actually said, and did not live up to our editorial standards.” pic.twitter.com/IuauZzaPML
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) July 7, 2022
“Conveyed misleading impression?” Sir, I believe that was the whole point. Salon’s original message was, I believe, that “who cares about facts when false narratives are spun and clicks to be had?”
It’s great to see the change, but it shouldn’t take over a year and a lot of public shame for it to happen. Twitter also likes to claim that they are trying to prevent fake news from spreading on its platform. They should have flagged it long before. They would have done that in an ideal world. They allowed the original story to continue despite it being false because it aligned with Twitter’s left-wing biases.
Twitter Powers That Be placed a ban on the New York Post’s Twitter account for two weeks in October 2020. This was alleged because their story about emails from Hunter Biden’s computer was fake news. The tweet was not fake news. Salon’s was. Salon’s account was still allowed to be shared and was shared many times.
This disgraceful, ideological double standard will continue until the presumptive new owners take control. Hopefully not for a moment longer. This will continue until then…