Here's What 'First Responders' on Twitter Got Wrong About the NYC Attack

What happened?

A Twitter account with breaking news updates from reporters in New York City had inaccurate tweets about the Halloween attack in downtown Manhattan, saying that the attack was “NOT terror-related” and that a fight had broken out between two truck drivers.

Did they correct the record?

As we now know, the attack was indeed an act of terrorism. @NYCityAlerts went on to update its followers with the mayor’s announcement that the truck driver killed eight people in a terror attack as well as the breaking news that the suspect left a note in his truck saying the attack was carried out in the name of ISIS.

Glenn’s take:

We should be cautious of the “first responders” who share initial reports from the scene. False stories spread when people jump the gun, and it’s better to wait on the facts.

“Somebody out there always has a reason to spread false information that helps their agenda,” Glenn said. “But sometimes it’s just people trying to be the first to report something. … Either way, not helpful.”

This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.

GLENN: First responders are often completely wrong. And I'm not not talking about police or paramedics. I'm talking about the first responder -- I believe the first responders are us. And when you are the first responder on Twitter or Facebook, the ones that rush to announce that an incident is not Islamic-related terrorism, they're almost always wrong.

After Tuesday's terrorist attack in New York City, for example, a Twitter account called New York City Alerts tweeted, breaking update, NYPD official confirms incident in downtown Manhattan was not terror-related.

Completely false. Later, they tweeted, per the PD sources, a fight between two truck drivers led to one truck hitting multiple pedestrians and one truck driver opened fire. Yeah, that's -- again, your attempt to recover from not Islamic extremist -- you just made it worse.

We've seen other examples of this in recent years, calling the 2015 San Bernardino terrorist attack workplace violence. Social media users misidentifying the Charlottesville killer, which forced a Michigan man and his family to flee their home because of death threats.

Sometimes it's people on the far left. Sometimes it's people on the far right. Somebody out there always has a reason to spread false information that helps their agenda.

But sometimes it's just people trying to be the first to report something and get a bunch of retweets. Either way, not helpful.


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