New York Times Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones Lied About Wiping Out Her Historical Tweets

Recently I have run across several journalists on Twitter who are regularly wiping out their old tweets, in one case it looks to be within two days of posting them. Considering that journalists frequently troll through people’s old tweets, it seems a bit unseemly that some of them are taking action to avoid the same being done with them. So far the journalists I have run across doing it are bad journalists, which might explain why they are the ones doing it. The latest journalist I ran across doingit , added to the mix of lying about doing it, which seems like something you shouldn’t be saying about a New York Times journalist, particularly not a high profile one with a recent Pulitzer Prize.

That journalist is Nikole Hannah-Jones, who was in the news recently, among other things, for having tweeted another journalist’s phone number and then deleting the tweet and all her other tweets:

It took her 47 hours to delete it after Sibarium complained — and she knew she’d published his number because she responded to a cheering fan who mentioned it. She then scrubbed her Twitter account entirely.

Here was her explanation for that:

Some of you may be aware, as I said this on here more than once, I auto delete my tweets at regular intervals now. This is an informal writing platform — it’s called social media. My permanent work gets published in articles. I don’t need to delete entire history over one tweet.

I know people want to take credit for things that have nothing to do with them, but if I had already deleted a particular tweet, why would you think I’d need to delete all my unrelated tweets? I’m ever amused by this place.

There are a couple of issues with that, one being that her tweet of the journalist’s phone number came from an inquiry asking about other of her tweets, which might explain the deletion. The other more important one is the claim the deletion was due to her auto deleting her tweets. When I saw that I thought that possibly she was shading the truth, maybe while she deleted her tweets regularly, that this deletion wasn’t due to that. But then I ran across this claim in a New York Post story:

By the next night, Hannah-Jones had not just deleted the offending tweet but her whole Twitter history — including the 2016 N-word message she had first been asked to elaborate on.

If she were wiping her account in regular intervals now or even irregular intervals, then a tweet from 2016 shouldn’t have been there now. The New York Post is a conservative tabloid, so I wouldn’t assume their claims are true, but sure enough, a quick search led to the URL of the tweet and checking on the Wayback Machine showed that 2016 tweet referenced still existed on February 9.

I really don’t understand how The New York Times can keep someone caught in such a blatant lie employed. Her Twitter profile says she is a “Reporter @nytmag covering race from 1619-present“. The New York Times reporter I ran across lying the other day, John Eligon, has a profile that says “Covering race for @nytimes“. So perhaps The New York Times thinks that lying is something that is okay when covering race? It seems more than a little problematic that such a divisive, complex, and important topic would be entrusted to people who are publicly lying.

I have contacted New York Times asking why, considering this lying, they would continue to employ her, though I don’t know why they would respond to my blog. There appears to be a lot of previous issues with her, including lying about her Pulitzer Prize winning project, spreading a stupid fireworks conspiracy theory, and not knowing the definition of violence. Those haven’t led to her removal despite it being hard to understand how they wouldn’t have already alerted the Times that isn’t someone who should be work as a journalist.

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