Campaign Manager Loses Job Over False Hurricane Sandy Tweets
Here’s another reason why you need to take everything you see on social media with “a grain of salt.”
A congressional campaign manager has lost his job after admitting to spreading false rumors on Twitter about the New York Stock Exchange flooding during Hurricane Sandy.
Shashank Tripathi, under the guise of his Twitter handle @ComfortablySmug, sent out several pieces of misinformation during the worst of the storm Monday.
He is being blamed for spreading the now-widely debunked rumor that the New York Stock Exchange trading floor had been flooded with 3 feet of standing water. The rumor was eventually picked up by CNN and New York Magazine until NYSE officials shot it down.
In a message on his Twitter account late Tuesday, Tripathi apologized and offered his resignation on Wright’s House campaign for the 12th congressional district.
Tripathi was first outed by BuzzFeed.
“I wish to offer the people of New York a sincere, humble and unconditional apology,” Tripathi wrote. “During a natural disaster that threatened the entire city, I made a series of irresponsible and inaccurate tweets.”
Other rumors included a false report that power would be shut down in all of Manhattan and that the New York subway would be closed for the entire week.
Good on the campaign for cutting this loser loose. Why on Earth somebody would make up stuff like this just to cause a panic is beyond me. But a major news organization like CNN really ought to know better that to take what they see on Facebook or Twitter as an absolute fact. They didn’t check with NYSE to confirm the report, they didn’t send a reporter to verify, they just saw it on Twitter and assumed it was fact.
And well…we all know what they saw about assuming, right?