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December 19, 2014

An Update on the Bloodied Shoe Tweets


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Yesterday, we wrote about some misinformation that was spread across Twitter by prominent journalists. Now that there have been corrections, that post could use an update. So here it is.

First, a summary of what we shared yesterday:

• BBC Watch pointed out that a journalist on Twitter inaccurately described a photo of a little girl's bloodied shoe as having been taken Gaza during this summer's fighting between Hamas and Israel. Ironically, the journalist's misinformation came in the form of a "fact-check" type post, directed at those who had wrongly described the photo being from the recent attack in Pewshawar, Pakistan. BBC Watch also noted that a BBC journalist retweeted the photo — even though the BBC itself acknowledged the shoe belonged not to a Palestinian girl in Gaza, but rather to an Israeli girl in Ashkelon.

• We pointed out here yesterday that at least two additional journalists had shared the misinformation. After we informed the journalists of their error, some were evasive, while others didn't immediately reply, perhaps because they had yet to see our call for a correction.

Now that enough time has passed for the dust to have settled, let's look at how the journalists reacted after being informed that they had inadvertently spread misinformation to untold thousand of people. First, the best news:

Rana Jawad, the BBC journalist mentioned by BBC Watch, commendably fixed her mistake. She updated her 15,700 Twitter followers with a clear post that included the word "correction" and a link to BBC's article describing the bloodied shoe as belonging to an Israeli in Ashkelon:

France24's Julien Pain also cleared the record after CAMERA informed him that he had shared the misinformation. To his credit, Pain's tweet to his 6,000 followers made clear the shoe was was not from Gaza, but from Ashkelon.

We have another example of a clear correction by Syrian commentator Aboud Dandachi. In a Twitter thread today, he claimed the photo was from Iraq.

Upon being informed of the facts, he quickly corrected:

Two other journalists were not quite as effective in clearing the record.

The original source of the inaccurate information was Dutch reporter Harald Doornbos, who tweeted the following to his 40,500 followers:

After it became clear in the Twitter conversation that followed the above tweet that the photo was not actually from Gaza but Ashkelon, Doornbos faded away.

It's important to note some Twitter intricacies here. The thread that followed Doornbos's initial tweet does not make itself visible to all of the Dutch journalist's followers. For this reason, it's virtually certain that only a small small subsection of the 40,500 people exposed to the initial, inaccurate tweet also saw the meandering conversation that followed. Even Doornbos's own subsequent contributions to the conversation were not broadcast to all of his followers, since those comments all opened with an at-sign (@). So, for example, the following tweet would only automatically appear on the timeline of Twitter users who follow both Doornbos and Majid Pandit:

This morning, Doornbos posted on his blog a detailed explanation describing how he came to wrongly believe that the photo was from Gaza. The transparency is welcome. But unfortunately and inexplicably, Doornbos as of this writing has not shared that blog post, or any other corrective information, with all of his Twitter followers. His initial tweet went out to over 40 thousand Twitter users. And it was retweeted 238 times, meaning an additional thousands of Twitter users saw the misinformation. But he only transmitted his correction to perhaps several hundred Twitter users.

The strangest "correction," though, was at the hands of Dutch radio correspondent Rena Netjes. After she retweeted Doronbos's inaccurate information to her nine thousand Twitter followers, CAMERA informed her that the tweet was inaccurate and should be corrected.

Netjes replied with a denial, a call for CAMERA to "remove [our] false accusation," and, bizarrely, a link to the very BBC article that showed her tweet was inaccurate:

She later appeared to insist that her tweet claiming she saw no need to correct was actually a correction:


Update: At some point during the writing of this blog post, or immediately after it was published, Doornbos deleted his inaccurate tweet.

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Posted by GI at December 19, 2014 02:17 PM

Comments

Rena Netjes plays the role of a journalist, but is in actuality nothing more than a mouth piece of the muslim brotherhood. For those who can read dutch, this article gives a very clear history of her hate for israel, her interviews for an extremist muslim hate site, and her history of lying when confronted with her dubious relationships with the extreme elements in the dutch and european muslim community: https://filantropius.wordpress.com/2014/02/04/rena-netjes-is-helemaal-niet-zo-netjes/

Posted by: Ron at December 20, 2014 01:38 PM

Palestinian doublespeak never ends.

Arabs claim that Jewish people stole their land after they stole Jewish land in Jerusalem

Arabs claim that Jews are foreigners and colonizers yet more than 500,000 Arabs came into Israel after 1922 and many of the leaders were born in Egypt, Syria and Jordan.

Every aspect of this conflict involves the Palestinian narrative which is essentially doublespeak and lies.

Posted by: Yesh at December 21, 2014 04:14 AM

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