Just after noon today, false rumors that CNN had suspended Pierce Morgan originated from a fake account meant to parody Dan Wootton, former show biz editor for News of the World. The false tweet went out at 12:14 EST. @jonsnowC4 accidentally legitimized it, and it spread from there. The rumor lasted until 12:34 when @piersmorgan squashed it himself.
Rumor starts off from the very fake @danwooden, not to be confused with the very real @danwootton.
|“ ||Exclusive: @PiersMorgan suspended from his CNN show while investigations continue following new revelations on alleged phone hacking claims|
@jonsnowc4, an anchor for Channel 4 News in London, confuses his t’s with a “d”, misses @danwooden’s very fake bio, and spreads the rumor. You can see a screen grab of his original tweet below. Note that he doesn’t cite his source, so no one who sees his tweet knows that not only is he going off of a second hand source, but also a totally fake source.
|“ ||Piers Morgan suspended from CNN, say reports|
|“ ||wow! good! RT @jonsnowC4: Piers Morgan suspended by CNN over phone hacking..the rise and rise, and fall and rise ,and fall of Piers Morgan!|
|“ ||RT @jonsnowC4: Piers Morgan suspended by CNN over phone hacking..the rise and rise, and fall and rise ,and fall of Piers Morgan! «BOOM!!|
@archiebland, Foreign Editor at The Independent picks up the rumor trail and immediately notices that it originated from a fake account
|“ ||hang on, is this piers morgan thing coming from DAN WOODEN? If so, lest anyone doubt it, it’s a fake account and presumably not true|
|“ ||Fairly certain Piers Morgan hasn’t been suspended.|
But at this point, it’s too late…
|“ ||WHOA RT @ZekeJMiller: RT @cghgreen: Piers Morgan suspended from CNN, say reports|
My colleague Anthony De Rosa is just too far removed from the original fake tweet to know it’s not true.
|“ ||Piers Morgan suspended by CNN|
|“ ||Seriously? Wow.RT @AntDeRosa: Piers Morgan suspended by CNN|
|“ ||Why? RT @AntDeRosa: Piers Morgan suspended by CNN|
|“ ||RT @AnnaHolmes: Seriously? Wow.RT @AntDeRosa: Piers Morgan suspended by CNN|
@brianstelter starts putting the brakes on.
|“ ||@TheStalwart CNN is denying it.|
@adrianchen from Gawker starts investigating where the fake account came from.
|“ ||@archiebland where’s the fake account?|
|“ ||Origin of Piers Morgan suspension is @jonsnowC4, who deleted the tweet saying @PiersMorgan has been suspended|
|“ ||FYI, the claim on Twitter that CNN has suspended Piers Morgan is untrue.|
|“ ||@AntDeRosa it came from this parody account: @danwooden|
And finally the man himself refutes the rumor.
|“ ||Sorry to disappoint you all, but I’m afraid poor old @jonsnowC4 got duped by a fake Twitter account. I’ve not been suspended by CNN.|
|“ ||Retraction ahoy..rumour mill produced info on Piers Morgan..was issued on a fake NOW accouint.no truth that Piers Morgan suspended by CNN|
|“ ||I would like to thank @PiersMorgan, @Lord_Sugar aka Derek and @JonSnowC4 for all my new followers|
To cap things off, @felixsalmon from Reuters puts together a quick Tumblr post that puts it all in perspective.
“I think that big flagship Twitter accounts like @Reuters or @WSJ should be held to a higher standard. But for the rest of us, we”re conversing on Twitter just like we converse in real life. In the newsroom, we say things like “did you hear that Piers Morgan just got suspended?” and that”s fine. Is it really that bad to say that kind of thing in the new newsroom called Twitter? I don”t think so. People are human, they believe rumors, make mistakes, jump to conclusions. Twitter is just a healthy reminder of that fact.”