Russia backed Facebook material reached over 126 million Americans

Ashe Schow

On Thursday morning, The Root, an online magazine typically devoted to African-American culture, published an article titled: “Evidence Shows Hackers Changed Votes in the 2016 Election But No One Will Admit It.”

The article, naturally, took Anti-Trump Twitter by storm, with many commentators failing to look past the headline to see that the author, Michael Harriot, was talking about circumstantial, not direct, evidence. The article was also an op-ed and not, as the headline suggested, a news article (this may or may not have been Harriot’s fault; sometimes writers don’t get the final say in their own headlines).

Still, on Friday afternoon, the piece was updated with a correction because Harriot had referred to Russians as “Soviets” on a couple of occasions. By Saturday morning, however, the article was taken down and an editor’s note put in its place that reads:

This story was an opinion piece asserting there was evidence that hackers changed votes in the 2016 election. However, a number of statements in the piece are disputed by experts. As a result, we have pulled it down for editorial review, and will update it once that review is completed.

Yet another reminder that we must all be careful of sharing things on social media that conform to our preconceived biases without actually reading the article.