New York Times duped by fake Twitter for General Michael Flynn

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General Michael Flynn (Credit: Wikipedia)

The New York Times fell for a fake General Michael Flynn Twitter account. The Times‘ Feb. 13 article, “Michael Flynn Resigns as National Security Adviser,” originally quoted from the @GenMikeFlynn account.

That Twitter account is not Flynn’s account and currently discloses in its bio section that it is a “parody account.”

iMediaEthics asked the Times when and how the error was caught and if the article made it to print. New York Times spokesperson Danielle Rhoades Ha told iMediaEthics by e-mail, “No, the error did not make it into print. We will let the correction speak for itself.”

News Diffs, the website that tracks changes to stories on sites including the New York Times, indicates that the correction was made four hours after publication.

The fake Twitter account discloses that it is a "parody" account.The fake Twitter account discloses that it is a “parody” account.


The article now carries a correction reading that it originally “quoted three posts from an unverified Twitter account purporting to be Mr. Flynn’s, responding to the resignation.” Those posts included:

Below, see screenshots from News Diffs’ archive of the original Times article. In green underline is text that the Times removed.

The Times deleted the text in green.

The Times deleted the text in green. (Credit: NewsDiffs, screenshot)


The Times deleted the text in green. (Credit: NewsDiffs, screenshot)

The Washington Post noted that “House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Elijah Cummings also referred to the same” Twitter account. The Post also included a few tips for how to check if a Twitter account is authentic, including the spelling of a name and looking to see when the account was created.

The article also has a correction about when “the White House sent out a series of conflicting signals about Michael T. Flynn.”

Hat Tip: Mediaite






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New York Times Duped by Fake Twitter for General Michael Flynn

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