A rumor that NBC News projected Elizabeth Warren as the winner of the race for Massachusetts' open Senate seat went viral on Twitter Tuesday evening, duping some news sites into publishing stories about the news. NBC News hadn't projected her to be victorious at the time of the rumor, which came about at approximately 9 p.m. ET. NBC actually projected Warren to be the winner at 9:42 p.m. ET, and other networks have since done the same.
Smoke signals from NBC say Liz Warren wins.
Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) November 7, 2012
Sen. Elizabeth Warren wins Ted Kennedy's seat.
Steve Weinstein (@steveweinstein) November 7, 2012
The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) November 7, 2012
Several journalists this reporter included and media outlets, such as Mother Jones and BuzzFeed, were fooled by the news:
Even Elizabeth Warren's campaign staff seem to have been confused by the rumor, posting this "thank you" to Facebook:
Shortly after tweeting or posted the news, many began to realize there was a problem no NBC News account or reporters had reported it.
I got taken in by a Twitter rumor that NBC has called MA for Warren. It hasn't. My apologies.
Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) November 7, 2012
NBC News Communications Director Erika Masonhall took to Twitter to quash the rumor. Shortly afterwards, NBC anchor Brian Williams also rejected the rumor on air.
For the record: NBC News has NOT YET projected a winner in MA Senate race. Currently characterized as "too early to call"
Erika Masonhall (@ErikaMasonhall) November 7, 2012
Mashable's Stephanie Haberman later received confirmation that an errant tweet from @CAPcongress sparked the rumor. The tweet has since been deleted.
The account's owner told Haberman he "misread [the] NBC website," then drove home without realizing the error until he logged in later. He added that he "didn't intend to set off a firestorm."
Did you see the Warren rumor? How did you react? Share in the comments.
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