A New York Times opinion piece by Bari Weiss cited a fake Antifa Twitter account as evidence of criticism of the real commentator Dave Rubin. The March 7 opinion article, “We’re all fascists now,” now carries an editors’ note.
That editors’ note reads, “An earlier version of this essay cited criticism of the commentator Dave Rubin as an example of left-leaning attacks on liberals in the public sphere, and linked to tweets that described him as a fascist. Those tweets came from an account that has been reported to be fake. Therefore the example and the links have been removed.”
According to NewsDiffs, the website that tracks changes to articles from several news sites, including the New York Times, the newspaper removed this line:
“Dave Rubin, a liberal commentator who favors abortion rights, opposes the death penalty and is married to a man, yet is denounced as an ‘Anti-L.G.B.T. fascist’ and a ‘fascist lieutenant’ for criticizing identity politics.”
On Twitter, Weiss acknowledged the error, writing “I had missed
@CraigSilverman‘s reporting on fake Antifa Twitter accounts and mistakenly linked to one in my piece. Mea culpa. The story has been corrected.”
The Twitter account the opinion piece cited was @OfficialAntifa. In 2017, BuzzFeed‘s Craig Silverman listed it as a fake account, noting it misidentified photos of events and cited other fake accounts.
iMediaEthics wrote to the New York Times to ask how the error occurred and how the Times learned of the mistake. The Times pointed to its editors’ note and Weiss’s comments in an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. Of the fake Twitter account, Weiss said, “I made a mistake and I corrected it, which is what we do in the newspaper business. And I apologized immediately as soon as I saw it. It’s very hard. as we’ve learned from the last election, sometimes you fall for troll accounts. That’s what I did.”
— Bari Weiss (@bariweiss) March 8, 2018