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TIME Magazine quickly corrected a biased story after a Facebook campaign
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TIME Magazine quickly corrected a biased story after a Facebook campaign

20 March 2016

A Facebook campaign achieved in 36 hours what five months of repeated attempts by other channels failed to achieve.

NGOs, and later the Government Press Office, tried to persuade TIME to correct the serious factual error in the 15 October article. The article, written by correspondent Rebecca Collard two days after the terrorist attack in a Jerusalem bus which claimed the lives of three innocent Israeli civilians, describes the events in a way that ignores the victims and humanizes the attacker.

"On Tuesday, Allyan, a graphic designer from the predominantly Palestinian neighborhood Jabel Mukaber, was killed by Israeli security forces after allegedly trying to carry out an attack in Jerusalem", the TIME article said, adding nothing further on the attack.

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Last Thursday (17 March) the GPO launched a Facebook campaign, which was quickly picked up by Ynet, a leading Israeli news site, as a last resort for bringing about a correction to the inflammatory article. Tens of thousands of views and hundreds of shares were made, many with angry responses by readers, including by Maya Rachimi who was stabbed at the attack.

On Friday evening (local time) the TIME article was finally altered. The attack is now described as follows: "On Tuesday, Allyan, a graphic designer from the predominantly Palestinian neighborhood Jabel Mukaber, was killed by Israeli security forces after he and another assailant killed two passengers in an attack on a Jerusalem bus. A third victim, a U.S.-born teacher, died two weeks after the attack" (The links are from the article itself).

This morning (Sunday, 20 March), the Times of Israel featured the correction on its front page.

It is worth noting that the name of contributor Rebecca Collard was deleted from the corrected TIME article. Collard worked in Israel briefly during October 2015 as a temporary visiting journalist. In her correspondence with the GPO, she showed neither recognition of her errors nor any inclination to correct them.