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23 Jul, 2014 17:29

Tweet gone wrong: Outrage over AP post saying plane with bodies 'from Flight 17 crash lands in Eindhoven'

Tweet gone wrong: Outrage over AP post saying plane with bodies 'from Flight 17 crash lands in Eindhoven'

The Associated Press Twitter account took heat across the social media site Wednesday morning when it blasted out an errantly-worded tweet announcing supposed "breaking" news regarding the transport of Flight MH17 crash victims.

The crash of the airliner last week with 298 passengers aboard has only exacerbated the row between the US, European powers, and Russia over the developing situation in eastern Ukraine. Thus, AP was entering touchy territory.

BREAKING: Dutch military plane carrying bodies from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash lands in Eindhoven.

— The Associated Press (@AP) July 23, 2014

The tweet caused widespread confusion on Twitter based on its wording: Did "crash lands" mean a new crash occurred or was it just awkward phrasing that marked the landing of the plane carrying crash victims?

Phew! The Dutch plane did not crash land. What AP meant was plane carrying bodies from "MH17 crash" lands.

— Rajat Agrawal (@rajatagr) July 23, 2014

Despite the wording of @AP's tweet, plane carrying #MH17 victims' bodies did not crash land: http://t.co/yS1L76kuW1pic.twitter.com/9bd9UyWJQp

— Consmover (@consmover) July 23, 2014

Lookups! "Crash-land" is spiking, from an AP tweet that was...ambiguous. https://t.co/gWotta9WGA (clarified here: https://t.co/OZGns3wndj)

— Kory Stamper (@KoryStamper) July 23, 2014

It didn't take long for AP to issue a clarification.

CLARIFIES: Dutch military plane carrying Malaysia Airlines bodies lands in Eindhoven.

— The Associated Press (@AP) July 23, 2014

Nevertheless Twitter took the opportunity to pile on....

Ok, @AP not hacked, just @AP terrible at writing tweets

— Anthony De Rosa (@AntDeRosa) July 23, 2014

Can't understand why the @AP haven't deleted that terribly worded "crash lands" tweet. Just confusing for anyone who is only now seeing it.

— Darryl Finch (@hailgrabovski) July 23, 2014

...some more impetuously than others.

Whoever ran the @AP twitter feed until 7 minutes ago: best of luck to you in your next career. https://t.co/hHCxldIzN9

— Max Fisher (@Max_Fisher) July 23, 2014

Some used AP's hyperbolic "BREAKING" prefix in the tweet to criticize what they see as overuse of the phrase in news reporting, especially on social media sites and cable news channels.

A plane landing is almost never "BREAKING." Plans land, ppl & things arrive destinations where they are going. This is not how news works.

— Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) July 23, 2014

Then the grammar debate ensued.

.@AP just found out how big a difference a missing comma makes to a news story... pic.twitter.com/23FSDXB7Jq

— Michael (@xGogsx) July 23, 2014

Did it crash land or did or should there be a comma after crash? So many questions pic.twitter.com/hbzFCpQZ0m

— Peter (@PeterMarfleet) July 23, 2014

@shashj Not if you know that crash-land is either hyphenated or written as one word... No grammar error there. @aparanjape

— Neeran Karnik (@neeran) July 23, 2014

Yes AP style dictates it would have used "crash-land" if it had crashed, but given the circumstance it wasn't a huge leap for people to make

— ℁ (@afscot) July 23, 2014

RT's news agency Ruptly has video of the plane landing - safely - in Holland.

Meanwhile, the Netherlands is taking a lead in the investigation of the flight MH17 tragedy. The Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans announced that his country will conduct a thorough investigation of the circumstances of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 crash in cooperation with experts from the International Civil Aviation Organization.