New York Times reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones emptied her entire Twitter feed after she posted the personal contact information of a conservative news reporter who asked her for comment about the recent drama surrounding the paper’s editorial board.
The Washington Free Beacon’s Aaron Sibarium, who was writing a story about the NY Times ousting a top reporter for using a racial slur in context on a work trip, went through Hannah-Jones’s old Twitter posts to discover that she had used the exact same slur while quoting someone else. He contacted Hannah-Jones, asking her whether “intent made a difference” in this case.
In response, Hannah-Jones shared on Twitter a screenshot of Sibarium’s email inquiry, which included his phone number. The move apparently violated Twitter’s rules against what’s commonly known as “doxxing.” The social media company’s terms of service explicitly prohibit publishing “other people’s private information without their express authorization and permission.”
Sibarium’s personal information had remained exposed to Hannah-Jones’s 518,000 followers on Twitter for nearly three days, according to his Washington Free Beacon report. Hannah-Jones deleted the post on Tuesday morning, along with her old post containing the racial slur. As of Tuesday midday, all of her posts have been removed.
Hannah-Jones “clearly knew” that her post contained personal information, Sibarium said.
“Lol, and he included his phone number and thought you would actually call him,” Uché Blackstock, a Yahoo News medical contributor, commented on the now-deleted post. “Girl,” Hannah-Jones replied, along with a facepalm emoji. Their exchange took place on Saturday night, 71 hours before the 1619 Project spearhead wiped out her entire Twitter history.
Sibarium also noted that Hannah-Jones might have violated the NY Times’ own social media guidelines.
“Always treat others with respect on social media,” the guidelines read. “If you tweeted an error or something inappropriate and wish to delete the tweet, be sure to quickly acknowledge the deletion in a subsequent tweet.”
The controversy comes amid the NY Times’ decision to force out Donald McNeil Jr., a newsroom veteran and star pandemic reporter. According to McNeil’s farewell letter to his colleagues, he went on a trip to Peru in 2019 with high school students, and repeated the racial slur after one of the students inquired about its usage.
McNeil resigned last Friday, after some 150 staffers complained about him demonstrating “bias against people of color in his work and in interactions with colleagues over a period of years.”
“We do not tolerate racist language regardless of intent,” NY Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet and Managing Editor Joe Kahn said in a memo last Friday. “We are committed to building a news report and company that reflect our core values of integrity and respect, and will work with urgency to create clearer guidelines and enforcement about conduct in the workplace, including redline issues on racist language.”