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False report on Proposition 8 being overturned lights up Twitter

May 15, 2009 |  2:13 pm

The Twitter world has been abuzz today over a false report that the California Supreme Court had overturned Proposition 8, the voter-approved ban on gay marriage.

Here’s what seems to have happened: Some Twitter readers came across an archived Los Angeles Times story from a year ago, assumed it was breaking news and started sending it out on Twitter. A Times Web producer noticed the traffic and intended to send a Twitter message telling people that the story was a year old but instead copy and pasted an incorrect headline along with the Times logo.

The Times has since labeled the story as "archive." Other websites, such as Perez Hilton, have also alerted readers about the misinformation. Web guru Danny Sullivan offers a useful postmortem here.

The court's ruling on Prop. 8 is expected in the next few weeks. Full Times coverage of the gay marriage fight is here.

-- Shelby Grad