The Associated Press has deleted that 2-week-old Clinton tweet

September 8, 2016
Category: Ethics & Trust

After facing blowback from journalists and others who criticized a tweet promoting a story about Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, The Association Press announced today it’s deleting the tweet.

John Daniszewski, the AP’s vice president for standards, explained the decision in a post on the news cooperative’s official blog, saying the tweet omitted “essential context.”

In his post, Daniszewski also announced new guidelines that require the removal of tweets deemed to contain “information that is incorrect, misleading, unclear or could be interpreted as unfair, or having a problem in tone.”

The tweet in question was launched late last month to promote an article that explained how many people outside the government who met with Clinton during her tenure as Secretary of State ultimately contributed to the Clinton Foundation. The initial tweet, though, didn’t specify that the AP’s analysis applied to the discretionary meetings she held as Secretary, rather than her slate of official meetings.

It has thus been replaced by the following tweet:

In his post, Daniszewski also explains how the AP’s stance on social media has evolved over time. Now, he says, the news cooperative treats tweets the same way it does other journalistic work products:

In the earlier days of Twitter, there had been a belief that removing tweets was akin to retroactively editing a conversation; it wasn’t transparent. Additionally, tweets were seen more as providing paths to in-depth content and less as content in themselves that would remain in the public discussion for an extended period. Industry thinking on this topic has been changing. And the controversy over the AP tweet has led us to an extensive reflection on this evolution.

The Associated Press has already put the new guidelines into effect with a second tweet related to the death of NBA star Dwyane Wade’s cousin, Nykea Aldridge. Here’s the new tweet: