The Globe and Mail and a number of other media outlets fell for a Twitter hoax during a shooting at the Los Angeles International Airport on Friday.
A tweet from an account called @HeadIineNews claimed that former NSA director Michael Hayden had been shot at the airport. The fake account appeared similar to @BreakingNews, a popular account that tweets news updates but @HeadIineNews had fewer than a dozen tweets . The appearance of the fake account has since been changed.
The Globe and Mail initially included the death report in their story but later realized the error and edited the story to state that "Earlier reports that a former National Security Agency chief was shot dead were a hoax." The paper also issued a correction.
The Globe may have sparked more confusion by initially putting an Associated Press and Reuters byline on the story that included the erroneous tweet. The byline also been changed in later versions.
Media critic Mathew Ingram tweeted at length about the Globe's error.
So just to be clear, Reuters and AP didn't say Hayden had been shot, but the Globe story had that info with Reuters/AP byline on it— Mathew Ingram (@mathewi) November 1, 2013
Media critic Craig Silverman also commented on the Globe's mistake.
If u tweet fake news about someone being killed, subsequent correction tweet(s) must be marked as a Correction. "Update," schmupdate #LAX— Craig Silverman (@CraigSilverman) November 1, 2013
Yes, I'm subtweeting you, @globeandmail— Craig Silverman (@CraigSilverman) November 1, 2013
Great day for The Star, awful day for The Globe. Tomorrow, everybody tries again. #cdnmedia— Craig Silverman (@CraigSilverman) November 1, 2013