Feb 6, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; ESPN personality Adam Schefter talks during a segment before the Pro Bowl football game at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It has, unfortunately, never been easier to spread misinformation than it is on X at the moment.

Since Elon Musk’s takeover just over a year ago and making blue verified checkmarks available on a pay basis instead of giving them out to actual verified accounts, we’ve no shortage of misrepresentation and misinformation.

Thursday was the most recent example, as a tweet by an account posing as ESPN’s Adam Schefter was left up for six hours and gained two million views before it was deleted.

The tweet, which can be seen above via Front Office Sports, came from @0Gstank and read, “Breaking News out of FBI headquarters in Washington DC. Names have leaked off the official Epstein client list. Notably on that list, Carolina Panthers owner, David Tepper. Internal discussions have begun within the circle of NFL owners on how to remove Tepper as owner.”

The tweet garnered over 2,500 retweets before being deleted, and as a result, the account was suspended. Schefter responded, “This is completely false. X needs to respond to defamatory untrue statements like this.”

Schefter has a point, as misinformation has spread like wildfire. Generally, a post containing wrong information will get a “community note” underneath it, clarifying the inaccurate parts of the post, but that didn’t happen here.

It is, however, essential to look at the account’s @ before retweeting or otherwise going along with the information. It’s a step that takes just a few seconds and can prevent the spread of misinformation, but Schefter is also correct that it shouldn’t have been able to stay up for six hours.

It is worth noting that ESPN’s parent company, Disney, suspended X advertising after Elon Musk endorsed an antisemitic post last month. And with that, Schefter’s colleague at ESPN, Adrian Wojnarowski, conducted a Q&A on Threads as Musk continued his feud with Disney.

This incident highlights the need for X to implement stricter measures against misinformation. Otherwise, credibility will be lost, and boycotts may occur, especially when dealing with an account with 10.6 million followers like Schefter’s.

[Front Office Sports]