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NPR Travels Back In Time And Evokes Twitter Haters

NPR Travels Back In Time And Evokes Twitter Haters

For about 20 minutes Tuesday, NPR traveled back to 1776.
To echo its 29-year on-air tradition, the public radio network’s main Twitter account tweeted out the Declaration of Independence, line by line.
There — in 113 consecutive posts, in 140-character increments — was the text of the treasured founding document of the United States, from its soaring opening to its searing indictments of King George III’s “absolute tyranny” to its very last signature.
Who could have taken issue with such a patriotic exercise, done in honor of the nation’s birthday?
Quite a few people, it turned out.
From Washington, D.C., to Seattle, fireworks lit up the skies in celebration of Independence Day. (Reuters)
Perhaps it was the Founding Fathers’ capitalization of random words or the sentence fragments into which some of the Declaration’s most recognizable lines were broken. But plenty of Twitter users reacted angrily to the thread, accusing NPR of spamming them — or, worse, trying to push an agenda.
“Seriously, this is the dumbest idea I have ever seen on Twitter,” a Twitter user named Darren Mills said after NPR had only gotten as far as the Declaration’s dateline. “ Literally no one is going to read 5000 tweets about this trash.”
In case you’re missing it, looks like @NPR has been hacked, tweeting like crazy!
“He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers,” read one line of the document.
“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 another.
Some people — presumably still in the dark about NPR’s Fourth of July exercise — assumed those lines were references to President Trump and the current administration
“Propaganda is that all you know how? Try supporting a man who wants to do something about the Injustice in this country #drainingtheswamp,” tweeted one user whose account has since been deleted but whose messages were captured by Winnipeg Free Press reporter Melissa Martin.
Upworthy writer Parker Molloy took images of several more indignant replies to NPR, including one who told the media organization to “Please stop. This is not the right place.”
By Wednesday morning, many of the replies above had been deleted. However, at least one Twitter user admitted he had “screwed up” and apologized to NPR.
The Declaration of Independence is, of course, one of the country’s most important documents, adopted at the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. The text and purpose of the Declaration would likely be recognizable to those who have applied for U.S. citizenship since questions about the document appear on the naturalization test. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has an extensive list of study materials and other Declaration-related resources for prospective citizens.
NPR’s “Morning Edition” has had a nearly three-decade-long tradition of broadcasting a reading of the Declaration of Independence on July 4 each year. More than two dozen NPR journalists participated in this year’s reading, including “Morning Edition” co-host Steve Inskeep, “All Things Considered” host Audie Cornish and NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson.
It is “a document from a deeply divided time,” broadcaster Mary Louise Kelly noted in the reading. “It was a time when Americans turned against each other.”
The Twitter exercise this year was a way to include additional people in that tradition, NPR spokeswoman Isabel Lara told The Washington Post in an email statement.
“This year we mirrored that tradition on Twitter as a way to extend to social media what we do on the air,” Lara wrote. “The tweets were shared by thousands of people and generated a lively conversation.”
Source:The Washington Post


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