David Cunliffe, Whale Oil and Page Not Found

Some of you will remember, a few days ago I blogged about David Cunliffe tweeting about Labour being ahead of the curve for the ICT upgrade. When the tweet was sent, the link in the tweet directed to a page not found. I also updated the story a few hours later when the link did start to work. This morning Whale Oil picked up on the issue. He claims that it is still not working. I double checked by clicking on the link in the tweet and it does work for me, as well as for two friends who triple checked for me, one in NZ and outside of NZ. Commenters on Whale Oil jumped on this apparent mistake:


Both of these people fail to understand that they are two separate links within that tweet. When you view the tweet on the Twitter website the second link, to the location of the photo, disappears:


Now I have already proved that the labour.org.nz/ict link didn’t work for a short period of time. This isn’t a good look for Labour, but it was working within a couple of hours, and is still working now.


However on closer inspection of the screen grabs used on Whale Oil, it is clear that the link entered in the address bar is incorrect:


This was brought up in the comments on Whale Oil:



This comment was posted not long after the story was posted, which was at 0800 this morning. The screen grab from Whale Oil above proves this is correct.


Others have suggested that it is clicking on the link in the tweet that is generating the incorrect address. When you place a link in a Tweet it is a straight hyperlink, it does not have generated text in front of it. Unlike the links  here, here I can make www.twitter.com look like Twitter, on Twitter only www.twitter.com would appear. So the incorrect link hasn’t come from there.


The Screen grab that Whale Oil uses:



And the one I used in the post the other day:


Both have the same time stamp on them, 12:02pm 13 August 2014. So unless labour figured out they had the wrong address, deleted the tweet and resent it within 60 secs, then it is the same tweet we are working off. So either someone at Whale Oil mistyped the address in by mistake and didn’t notice, and they haven’t looked at the comments on the story since, or someone at Whale Oil has purposefully typed the address in wrong with the aim of embarrassing Labour with a story that isn’t really a story.


I am all for holding parties, MPs and candidates to account for their social media mistakes, but only when they are actually true mistakes or errors. But if there is a mistake in a post trying to hold people accountable for their social media mistakes I believe they should also be held to account.