This morning, The Week‘s twitter account retweeted an item from twitter user Brandee C., who had retweeted a link from Random House, promoting a list by Tracy Kidder of his favorite books. Only problem? The link The Week retweeted wasn’t actually for Kidder’s piece (which you should read). Instead, the link that The Week sent out to its 5,547 followers, courtesy of Brandee C., took them to a Japanese porn site (this link will take you to Brandee’s tweet, but clicking the hyperlink you see there probably won’t be safe for work.)
Twitter users frequently retweet something—essentially pass it along—without checking the content of the link. My guess is that the magazine assumed Brandee C.’s retweet, since it arrived via Random House, was legit. Brandee C., however, obviously likes to read about books while surfing Japanese porn, and in her/his excitement, confused the links.
Let this be a lesson to us all: Check those links before you retweet.