April 23, 2013

On AP’s official Twitter account, a bit of news appeared to have broken at 1:07:

Breaking: Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured

Not true: Paul Colford, a spokesman for the AP, just told the Erik Wemple Blog, “That’s a bogus tweet.”

No word yet on whether it’s a bogus tweet because the AP’s feed was hacked or because of another reason. The AP’s Twitter account has since been suspended.

UDPATE 1:30: Another AP account offers this:

UPDATE 1:45: If there’s breaking news about the AP, well then the AP has to have a story. It does, right here. The story notes that the false tweet about an attack at the White House comes after “hackers made repeated attempts to steal the passwords of AP journalists,” according to the AP. The tweet prompted a precipitous drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average; it recovered quickly.

UPDATE 1:48: Here’s fair warning to news organizations everywhere, via the AP’s Mike Baker:

UPDATE 2:26: The hack-derived message coincided with a press briefing at the White House, where AP White House correspondent Julie Pace issued a quasi-briefing of her own:

PRESS SECRETARY JAY CARNEY: Good afternoon. Thanks for being here. I have no announcements, so I will take your questions. Julie?

JULIE PACE: Thanks, Jay. I want to say at the top that it appears as though AP’s Twitter account has been hacked, so anything that was just sent out about any incident at the White House is obviously false and we’ll be putting something out shortly to clarify if that hasn’t happened already.

CARNEY: Good. I thank you for that. I appreciate that. And I can say that the president is fine. I was just with him.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.