July 28, 2016
And now, from the paper that brought you that glorified fraternity prank, ‘Watergate’
David Cole writes:
The Post caught the error after Dewey’s piece was posted. The editors caught it because the moderators of the real “largest Donald Trump Reddit page” complained, vocally. The Post’s response, however, was not to pull the piece, which would have been the ethical thing to do, but instead to subtly change the headline (“The people running Reddit’s largest Trump club also promote eugenics and call Muslims ‘animals’” became “The people running this Trump fan club also promote eugenics and call Muslims ‘animals’”). A brief correction was also added. However, the correction merely stated that the Post had erred by calling DonaldTrump2016 “the largest Trump group on Reddit.” There was no mention of the fact that Dewey had been taken in by a fake Trump page run by hoaxers. To the reader, the mistake appeared innocent and benign—the Post simply got the size of the group wrong. A mere numbers error, a miscount, as opposed to a complete lack of diligence, integrity, ethics, and, frankly, intelligence on the part of the Post’s digital culture critic.
I mean, Caitlin Dewey is an idiot. If that sounds rather harsh, I’ll point out that it’s what she wrote about herself in a tweet following the revelation of the hoax (“I’m an idiot”)