As the Denver Nuggets face the danger of early elimination from the NBA 2020 Western Conference, fans and those in the media face a different kind of danger….posting before they proofread their tweet.
Last week Charlotte Hornets radio announcer John Focke was at his kitchen table when he tried to post, “Shot making in this Jazz-Nuggets game is awesome! Murray and Mitchell going back and forth what a game!”
But the Charlotte Observer explains the “u” and the “t” were replaced with letters that formed the “N-word.”
Focke, did as many in media do, tried to post his thought immediately and before others, but states, “so that it was relevant by the time I posted it. I tried to type it and obviously I mistyped the word ‘Nuggets.’ And I did not reread it — which, as you know, that’s rule No. 1 of working in the media. And unfortunately, I didn’t, because I was trying to get it up as fast as possible. And I hit ‘Send.’”
Once he realized his mistake he deleted the tweet but screen shots secured the mistake in infamy and have resulted in Focke being suspended indefinitely by the Hornets.
Then this week we learned of a similar issue in a post by Denver “D-Mac” McKee, who was tweeting about the Nugget game when he later noticed his mistake. He tweeted:
He then tweeted an apology:
Last night while watching the Nuggets I sent out a tweet commenting on the game. I was horrified when it was brought to my attention that instead of Nuggets I had accidentally posted the N word. I instantly took it down. I despise this word. I find it abhorrent. I am stunned and”Twitter
Although issues such as “spell check” or “fat fingers hitting the wrong key” or “I didn’t have my glasses” have been used ubiquitously for sending the wrong message inadvertently, when it comes to racist or politically incorrect verbiage, one is guilty before proven innocent.
When texting first became popular, many of us would read, re-read and proofread what we planned to send, holding our breath before hitting “enter”, understanding there would be no “take backs.” Then texting became an everyday, every hour, every thought occurrence that people became slack with double-checking errors.
“Wait a sec” would be converted to “want sex”, horrifying both the texter and textee.
But then came the competition to be the first to post. In the social media world, one posting a story minutes after the rest of the feed looses cyber cred, if you will, hence journalists and social media junkies want to avoid looking “lame” or posting something that’s been already considered “common knowledge.”
So we developed a speed in texting and hitting “send”, while abandoning the age old proofreading done during our typing class days.
I suggest pumping the breaks on being the first to post, make sure there are no misspells or inappropriate words and then after posting, double check what was made public. Mistakes made in the operating room, board meeting, and construction site, for example, have cost many their careers. Posting errors can do the same……
Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN and iHeart Radio and is a Board Certified Family Physician