Editorial: The AP gets hacked

  • Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 12:11 a.m.

For a nation still jittery from the Boston Marathon bombings, an Associated Press report about explosions at the White House, with the president sustaining injuries, was enough to send people over the edge.

The stock market plunged. Frantic text messages went out as people sought more information. Fortunately, it was a very false alarm. The AP tweet that went out about 1 p.m. Tuesday was bogus. The news agency’s Twitter account had been hacked, apparently by a group of Syrians who sent out the “breaking news” tweet claiming there had been an attack on the White House

The AP shut down its Twitter account, pending a review of its online security measures. Stocks quickly recovered. But the incident underscores one of the hazards of journalism in the digital age. Bad news has always traveled fast. Now, bogus news can leap around the globe in the blink of an iPad.

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