Why verification matters, even on social media

What may seem like a statement expressing a controversial viewpoint might actually be an abstract joke, a New York Times reporter found.

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Daniel Victor saw that a New Yorker named Travis tweeted about long lines to vote:

Went to vote but the line was too long so I left, just as our Founding Fathers intended.

— Travis Huggett (@travishuggett) September 10, 2013

Victor had a couple of options, one of which included blindly embedding the tweet in a story about long lines at polling places. Instead, Victor reached out to Travis, who told him it was a joke. Victor got to save face and tell the joke’s author that the line “wasn’t bad.”

Well played, Daniel Victor.

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