Digital Media

Some Twitter users take offense to Declaration of Independence

NPR posts the founding document to Twitter and gets some angry responses, especially to a passage mistaken as a Trump attack.

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Baseball, hot dogs and tweeting the Declaration of Independence?

Roberto Machado Noa

Parades, fireworks, hot dogs … and NPR's recitation of the Declaration of Independence. For some, these are long-held annual Fourth of July traditions.

But the latter, which this year was expanded by National Public Radio to include the posting of the country's founding document on Twitter, was not seen at least by some as particularly patriotic.

As NPR on Tuesday tweeted the Declaration line by line on its main Twitter account in 113 consecutive posts, Twitter users lashed out, calling the thread everything from spam to a waste of time to the pushing of an agenda.

For example, one tweet from the Declaration read, "It is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government." Twitter D.G. Davis responded with: "So, NPR is calling for revolution. Interesting way to condone the violence while trying to sound 'patriotic'. Your implications are clear."

However, Davis wasn't the only to later post regret for comments made. "I Tweeted a VERY dumb comment. But ask yourselves; if read to the average American, would they know that you were reading the DOI? I do now."

The reactions seemed to intensify when NPR posted the portion of the Declaration that outlined all the ways the colonies had been wronged by Britain's George III.

 "A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people," read one post, which triggered almost 11,000 retweets along with comments from users who apparently assumed the lines were references to President Donald Trump and his current administration. The Washington Post spotted a heated response to this post from a user whose account has since been deleted but whose messages were captured by captured by Winnipeg Free Press reporter Melissa Martin: 

"Propaganda is that all you know how? Try supporting a man who wants to do something about the Injustice in this country #drainingtheswamp," the tweet read.

NPR representatives didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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