The tweet, "What state has the highest rate of rape in the country? It may surprise you," was sent at 5:40 am Tuesday, was slammed by the social media website as distasteful and appalling with people accusing the news network of using rape as 'clickbait'.
What state has highest rate of rape in the country? It may surprise you. http://t.co/uYm3NqoLU5— CNN (@CNN) February 4, 2014
The style of the tweet mimics the headlines of the website Upworthy, which gives feel-good human interest stories notoriously viral headlines enticing people to click on them. This is not the first time CNN has been accused of making teaser headlines out of tragedy. On Jan. 23, their "Breaking News" twitter account tweeted about the stabbing of girl by her sister.
14-year-old girl stabbed her little sister 40 times, police say. The reason why will shock you. http://t.co/5ZFqHFrviw— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) January 23, 2014
The editor of Upworthy, Adam Mordecai, told Think Progress, "The casualness of that tweet makes it twice as appalling. It's not surprising that rape is so prevalent, it's disturbing and alarming that it's prevalent all over the country. A surprise is for birthdays. Not this"
CNN has since amended the tweet.