Social Media Crisis: When the Most Trusted News Source Gets Hacked

Associated Press Twitter account suspended

The Associated Press Twitter account (@AP) is suspended while the hack is investigated.

Panic ensued on Wall Street when The Associated Press Twitter account (@AP) was hacked, and the following message was tweeted on April 23, 2013:

Breaking: Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured

News industry professionals should’ve known this was fake by the inconsistencies in the use of uppercase letters – if anyone has to follow AP Style, it’s The AP!

In the news business, there’s a rule that we all learned in our first journalism class (Thanks, Professor Bush!). In any news story, always interview at least three credible sources. This is to ensure accuracy.

This same tactic can be applied to this kind of social media crisis. Before panicking over a tweet (even from a credible source, such as The Associated Press), we should seek out at least one other source that corroborates the story.

Although news is quick and easy to see on Twitter, check out the actual news site since Twitter accounts are easily compromised. According to today’s CBS News story, @AP isn’t the only news organization twitter handle that’s currently suspended due to hacks:

Over the weekend, CBS News confirmed that its ’60 Minutes’ and ’48 Hours’ Twitter accounts were compromised. Both accounts remain suspended at present time.

Tracy Mallette is the founder of Content Newsroom, a website dedicated to helping you get more customers through the quality content that your website visitors deserve and Google demands. A journalist turned Internet marketer, Tracy uses her writing and editing skills to help B2B and B2C businesses succeed with content marketing. She has done work for Content Marketing Institute, SuccessWorks SEO Copywriting, Brookstone and more, and has contributed to Kapost, ISOOSI and other industry-leading blogs.

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