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‘You have the wrong Heather Patton,’ pleads Kaiser Permanente after racist CVS video

‘You have the wrong Heather Patton,’ pleads Kaiser Permanente after racist CVS video
[Photo: Clker-Free-Vector-Images/Pixabay]

Kaiser Permanente has a message for Twitter users: You have the wrong Heather Patton.

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The healthcare company has been tweeting at users it says have mistakenly identified a doctor as a woman seen going off on a racist rant in a viral video. The disturbing footage shows the woman screaming the N-word and making anti-black threats at a Los Angeles CVS. The woman in the video was identified as someone named Heather Patton by local media. The LAPD has opened up a hate crime investigation into the incident, according to the Los Angeles Times.

But after the rant went viral, some Twitter users doxxed a different Heather Patton, this one a doctor from the San Diego area who works for Kaiser Permanente. In one particular tweet, a Twitter user said “do your magic” after claiming (falsely) to identify the person in the video as this doctor. The tweet was up for almost two days and had been retweeted hundreds of times.

Some users have also been leaving one-star reviews on Dr. Patton’s public profiles on Vitals.com and elsewhere.

In a series of tweets, Kaiser Permanente implored the users to remove the tweets, noting that the video “has nothing to do with Dr. Patton or this organization.” It also said it reported the activity to Twitter and was seeking legal counsel.

“We also believe that the behavior on this video is repugnant, but you have the wrong Heather Patton,” the company said.

Twitter’s rules prohibit targeted harassment, although its enforcement of its own policies is notoriously inconsistent. After an inquiry from Fast Company, Twitter deleted the viral tweet that identified the wrong Patton, saying it violated its rules. (The company doesn’t fact check every tweet, but will sometimes take action when there is a clear threat to someone’s safety.)

Reached for comment, a spokesperson for Kaiser Permanente said, “We’re grateful for the 30-plus social media users who corrected or deleted their posts when we pointed out the mistaken identity.” The company also said it was reaching out to Vitals.com about the one-star reviews.

Mistaken identity is common after viral incidents. Last year, for instance, social media users went after the wrong restaurants after an eatery called the Red Hen refused to seat then-White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. At least two other restaurants with the same name found themselves at the center of attacks.

This post has been updated.

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