New York Times column about oversharing had dodgy sourcing

The New York Times | AdWeek | The Atlantic

Roger Cohen's Dec. 6 column about "oversharing" now includes a gruesome editor's note:

In this column, the author suggested that he was moved to talk about over-sharing and anxiety online after he came across two comments on Twitter. In fact, both comments were taken from a Web site,, that the writer consulted as part of his research. One of the comments, from Claire, was from a Twitter feed; the other, from Deanna, was from Facebook. They were both written in 2010. The writer should not have implied he stumbled across them while reading recent Twitter feeds.

David Griner pointed out in Adweek Monday that one of the tweets Cohen mentioned "is so dated that it even appeared in Jeff Jarvis's 2011 book 'Public Parts'."

Atlantic senior editor Alexis Madrigal responded to Cohen's column before the note was published, telling the columnist that social media tools "are only as good as the network you create on them."

"Roger: your friends and associates are terrible and boring," Madrigal writes. Wrong analysis! They may not even have been his friends.

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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