The digital-media staffers over at Time Magazine just illustrated the perils of reporting on breaking news via Twitter, without fact-checking, via a mislabeled and mis-captioned video.
Time Magazine, which ironically is owned by SF-based billionaire Marc Benioff as of last fall, published a tweet just after 1 p.m. Tuesday, reposting a video shot at 3 a.m. Monday by San Francisco Firefighters Local 798, showing dashcam video of one of the fronts in the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County. Clearly the person in charge of the Twitter account, and reposting the video — which was given an added label "San Francisco 10/29/2019" that the original did not have — believed that this SF fire crew was fighting a fire in San Francisco, and not 75 miles north of the city as was the case.
The flub is of course causing ripples across Twitter. Below is the embed as well as a screenshot to fill in when Time figures this out and deletes the tweet. How embarrassing!
As fires continue to ravage different parts of California, watch as firefighters face massive flames in San Francisco pic.twitter.com/lFjNOQiBqV— TIME (@TIME) October 29, 2019
Here is the original video, posted by the firefighters' union. It is clearly hashtagged "#KincadeFire" but sure, if you're in New York and have no idea about Bay Area geography, I get the mistake. (Also, not sure why the firefighters' tweet is geotagged "Boise, Idaho," but hey, not everyone gets how the Twitter works.)
Front windshield view of what our #Firefighters were faced with this morning (3am). We appreciate their complete dedication to the task of protecting lives and property. #KincadeFire @IAFFNewsDesk @team10th #nosleep #sffd #sffire #firelife #wildland pic.twitter.com/Dlpf9P8Zdl— San Francisco Firefighters 798 (@SFFFLocal798) October 29, 2019
And yes, people who live in SF with relatives who are really on top of the Twitter are fielding some frightened phone calls and text messages as a result.
CAN Y’ALL FUCKING DELETE THIS LIE SO MY LOVED ONES STOP TEXTING ME https://t.co/KqqeL11Tn9— Jen Rizzo (@jrizzo) October 29, 2019
Meanwhile, the Time website has some perfectly accurate-seeming coverage of the California fires, sans this video.
Social media managers of the world, take note!