News station confuses man's Twitter feed for rapist's
A Houston news station writes about a police officer convicted of rape. It inserts a widget that it believes will feature his tweets. Except they're not his tweets, but those of a journalist.
Twitter handles can be confusing.
Sometimes people select them in a hurry, or from a menu after the one they really wanted is not available.
So it's worth checking whether a Twitter feed really does belong to the person you'd like to follow.
This is a lesson that the Houston-based KHOU news station seems only recently to have learned.
For the station, in writing about a policeman convicted of raping a waitress -- Abraham Joseph -- didn't manage to spot that the Twitter handle @abrahamjoseph doesn't exactly belong to that policeman.
Sadly, it inserted a widget into its Web page, so that the feed would run alongside the news story.
As BetaBeat reports it, New York journalist and producer Abraham Riesman wasn't very pleased.
He, you see, is @abrahamjoseph.
Naturally, being a journalist and producer -- and especially being from New York -- Riesman attempted to point out to KHOU that he was not a rapist and, well, free to tweet.
He even tweeted KHOU: "Hey, @KHOU -- I'm not a convicted rapist! Please take my Twitter feed down from this article: http://www.khou.com/news/crime/Jurors-sentence-ex-HPD-cop-to-life-in-prison-for-raping-waitress--173135661.html ..."
He told BetaBeat:
Basic logic dictates that there is no way this is (the rapist Abraham Joseph's) Twitter feed. For one: look at my avatar. It's a really white, red-headed gentleman with glasses and the fact that this is a TV station would convey they have some visual sense of what this convicted rapist would look like.
KHOU does not appear ever to have returned any of Riesman's entreaties. However, the widget now appears to have been removed from the article.
I have contacted KHOU, just to ask how this might have happened and whether it might, at some point, reach out to Riesman. Or at least follow him on Twitter.