This weekend, the New York Times‘ international Twitter account (@nytimesworld) was suddenly frozen by Twitter. Why? According to an error message the Times received, a tweet about Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau apologizing to indigenous Canadians violated Twitter’s rules against “hateful content.”
This is the tweet in question:
Left out of an apology a decade ago, native people in Newfoundland and Labrador get an apology from Justin Trudeau https://t.co/BRRIUNCVMw
— New York Times World (@nytimesworld) November 25, 2017
After 24 hours, the account was unlocked and Twitter apologized for the error. While obviously a mistake, it is confounding why this notably inoffensive tweet was targeted in the first place. Twitter has faced widespread criticism over the uneven enforcement of its rules since October, when it froze the account of actress Rose McGowan.
In a statement to the Times, Twitter said, “After reviewing the account, it appears that one of our agents made an error. We have flagged this issue so that similar mistakes are not made going forward.”