In a message to the readers of Cointelegraph, the publication expressed profound gratitude for the trust and support received over the past decade. The team at Cointelegraph has consistently strived to provide insightful, engaging, and impactful cryptocurrency news.
A regrettable incident occurred earlier when Cointelegraph's social media team, without prior editorial approval, posted inaccurate information on platform X. The post erroneously claimed that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission had approved BlackRock's iShares spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). The misinformation originated from an unverified screenshot shared by a user on platform X, who asserted it was from the Bloomberg Terminal.
It's important to clarify that Cointelegraph did not ultimately publish an article with this false information. However, the publication deeply regrets the inaccurate post on platform X and the ensuing consequences. An internal investigation revealed that the standard protocol for sharing breaking news on social media, which mandates thorough source verification before posting, was not followed.
Here is the timeline of the events:
At 13:17:30 UTC, the editorial team became aware of the rumored news through a Telegram channel used by Cointelegraph staff to discover stories of potential interest to readers (Figure 1). The full conversation is provided below.
At 13:19:27 UTC, an employee, referred to as Employee 1, shared the text of the lead from a now-deleted Telegram account (Figure 2) with an internal Slack channel (Figure 3).
(Figure 3 & 4)
At 13:24:16 UTC, in an eagerness to promptly share the updates, Employee 2 published the report on platform X without first confirming the source's authenticity with the editor. This action goes against Cointelegraph's social media procedures, which mandate source verification and editorial approval before posting (Figure 4).
At 13:48:38 UTC, concerned readers reached out to Cointelegraph through various social media channels to report the issue (Figure 5).
At 13:52:19 UTC, in an internal Cointelegraph chat, Employee 1 noted that the source could not be identified (Figure 6).
At 13:54:14 UTC, an employee identified as Employee 3 at Cointelegraph made an edit to the message on platform X to provide clarification that the information was unverified
At 14:03:42 UTC, Cointelegraph initiated contact with both BlackRock and the Bloomberg Terminal and subsequently removed the post (Figure 8).
At 14:32:23 UTC, following the receipt of confirmation from BlackRock that the report was indeed incorrect, Cointelegraph retracted the initial tweet and released the subsequent statement (Figure 9).
In an effort to prevent any recurrence of such incidents, the Cointelegraph team is conducting a comprehensive audit and review of their social media management procedures, with a particular focus on the verification of breaking news before publication. Conversations are being held with all the employees who were part of this incident, and any essential structural adjustments will be implemented.
This event serves as a reminder to the Cointelegraph team that their actions carry significant consequences within the cryptocurrency community. The team is resolute in their commitment to learning from these errors and upholding the highest standards of journalism.
Clarification on sharing false spot Bitcoin ETF news (2023) Cointelegraph. Available at: https://cointelegraph.com/news/clarification-sharing-false-spot-bitcoin-etf-news
(Accessed: 17 October 2023).