UPDATE: Yup, I’m pulling it. Details below.
Dear Twitterverse, Girls and Boys, Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Peoples of the Green Party and More,
Yes, I got it wrong.
While there’s no such thing as absolute certainty, I now believe that the busses that I photographed on Wednesday, November 9, were for the Tableau Conference 2016 and had no relation to the ongoing protests against President Elect Trump.
This information was provided to me from multiple professional journalists, and I do still have some faith in humanity. 🙂
Right Context, Wrong Facts?
I remain with a skeptical eye on just how much manipulation has occurred behind the scenes of many political events, but I do believe that these specific busses were used for a technology conference — nothing more.
I don’t know that Donald Trump was talking about me (posted 24 hours after my post), but he’s among many with doubts:
So, Why Remove?
I initially believed it was in the best interest of everyone to keep the Tweet live while augmenting the story. I will indeed post a screenshot for posterity.
The realities of Twitter mean that many people see the Tweet without seeing my follow-ups and corrections. Therefore, if I continue to show this Tweet on Twitter, then people will often see the retweets of the original Tweet without corrections alongside. They will not know that the Tweet is incorrect.
As I have said before, I value the truth. I will remove the Tweet so more people can have a higher proportion of truth in their lives. I also want us all to refrain from repeating information that is likely untrue so that we can have greater credibility when our evidence is stronger. (Less “boy who cried wolf”)
Why Not Remove?
There are some risks in removing this Tweet.
- It sends the impression censorship has occurred — something I’m against
- Some people will believe I was pressured to remove the Tweet or did so purely out of self-interest
- It may reduce the dialog among all of us
Let’s not be afraid to say things when we aren’t completely sure, but let’s provide the right qualifiers and probabilities when we can.
Rapid discourse won’t always be fact-checked. If it had to be, much of it simply wouldn’t occur. That could be as bad as occasionally getting it wrong. It’s not journalism, and it’s not to be held to the same bar. (But this only works when everyone understands the “bar” is lower and exercises skepticism — another longer conversation for another time.)
I appreciate the conversations I’ve had with many in the “Twitterverse”.
I have tried to be magnanimous to many including those who disagree with me. I value our ability to discuss with each other in a civil and respectful tone regardless of where our views may stand. I’ve seen a good amount of that in these past few days, and I’d love to see more.
An Apology and a Promise
I would like to express my sincere apologies to anyone who feels misled. I can assure you my intentions have always been for the best. Now that I know just how wide these things can go so quickly, I’ll be more careful to give you the right information should there be a next time.
To the Future!
I am not a professional blogger nor a professional journalist. I do hope to find more ways to make a difference. Being involved in political discourse is vital to democracy.
All the best,
Original Tweet here: