On July 4th, as Americans around the country celebrated Independence Day with alcohol and fireworks, NPR took a different approach.
The Declaration of Independence was tweeted from the NPR Twitter page, word for word, line by line. With a cap 140 characters per tweet, 113 consecutive posts were used to display the document in its entirety.
It all started with one post,
241 years ago today, church bells rang out over Philadelphia as the Declaration of Independence was adopted https://t.co/PAcHgLqOUE— NPR (@NPR) July 4, 2017
They even included disclaimers hinting at what they were doing,
(Spelling and punctuation as provided by the National Archives)— NPR (@NPR) July 4, 2017
Twitter miscontrues NPR's tweets into attack on US
In the tweets to follow, not only was the entirety of the document included, but the names of each signature and the state in which they were from. But even then, Twitter users found a way to turn NPR's tribute into an attack on the country.
Whether the users were Trump supporters or not, news articles circulating are speculating their alliance, people were fired up over the supposed hate rhetoric towards President Trump and the nation as a whole. Except, they never took the time to understand what exactly NPR was doing. From alleging the tweets as spam to saying NPR was calling for a revolution, the tweets flew in.
This is spam I get alerts for NPR tweets because they are important My device is alarming nonstop. unfollowing.— Brandon Travan (@btravan_IT) July 4, 2017
So, NPR is calling for revolution.— D.G.Davies (@JustEsrafel) July 4, 2017
Interesting way to condone the violence while trying to sound "patriotic".
Your implications are clear.
Since the debacle, many tweets have been deleted, some users even going as far as deleting their whole accounts. Other tweeters stepped up with screen shots of the replies. Melissa Martin with the Winnipeg Free Press caught one since deleted response.
*heavy sigh* pic.twitter.com/Pb35SNdKqe— Melissa Martin (@DoubleEmMartin) July 4, 2017
The tweet from @JonLemos11 reads, "Propoganda is that all you know how? Try supporting a man who wants to do something about the Injustice in this country." His Twitter account has been deactivated.
Twitter user @ParkerMolloy also captured some of the responses.
This woman thought someone hacked the NPR account. She eventually figured it out, though. pic.twitter.com/JjJ990rB4g— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) July 5, 2017
?????? pic.twitter.com/ecpPfrQxtG— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) July 5, 2017
Although many of the Twitter users deleted tweets and account, one man acknowledged his wrong and accepted it.
Okay, okay...I screwed up with @npr. I jumped the gun and tweeted when I should have waited for them to finish. I offer my apologies.— D.G.Davies (@JustEsrafel) July 5, 2017
I Tweeted a VERY dumb comment. But ask yourselves; if read to the average American, would they know that you were reading the DOI? I do now.— D.G.Davies (@JustEsrafel) July 5, 2017
I can't reply to you all. But stay tuned.— D.G.Davies (@JustEsrafel) July 5, 2017
To those that want to mock me...go for it. I deserve it.
To those that forgive my "sin", thank you
Was NPR's Twitter exercise a success?
NPR does an annual reading of the Declaration on air, with a broadcaster reading the text in full. This year's twitter exercise was a chance to reach a new group of people NPR spokeswoman Isabel Lara said in an email statement, “This year we mirrored that tradition on Twitter as a way to extend to social media what we do on the air. The tweets were shared by thousands of people and generated a lively conversation.”
Regardless of the backlash, Lara is right, the tweets reached thousands and conjured up conversation on America's birthday. Lets just hope people take more time to inform themselves on our nation's foundation and founding documents.