Twitter is blowing up right now over something happening in Minneapolis -- though it's definitely not for something good. It's called #pointergate -- and it's ugly, and probably racist.
It all started with a story from KSTP with the ominous headline "Mpls. Mayor Flashes Gang Sign with Convicted Felon; Law Enforcement Outraged." But the actual facts don't line up at all. It seems the picture was taken while Hodges was helping out with the community organization Neighborhoods Organizing For Change, and that "Convicted Felon" was Navell Gordon, a volunteer. And plus, obviously, it looks like a simple point. Not a gang sign.
Twitter erupted in anger over the story (and for good reason), creating the hashtag #pointergate to scream at KSTP over airing a flimsy story, and saying how ridiculous it is to write a story about someone pointing a finger at somebody else:
KSTP tried to defend itself on Twitter already, though it didn't really address most of the issues people seemed to have with it, basically just saying that it trusted its police sources on this one who were upset by it.
KSTP issues statement on Mayor Hodges photo story: pic.twitter.com/09487PDTWa— KSTP (@KSTP) November 7, 2014
The reporter behind the story, Jay Kolls, tried to defend himself, too, but just got into more trouble. When other people tweeted at Kolls for being racist, he pulled out the classic line, "No, you're racist!" He also mentioned the gang "The Stick Up Boys," even though there's no proof Gordon was ever in that gang.
@RKdoe why do you keep mentioning race?— Jay Kolls (@JayKollsKSTP) November 7, 2014
@bzosiad that's your juvenile opinion. Symbol of Stick Up Boys. If he is leaving gang life, why the sign in that photo. You're naive.— Jay Kolls (@JayKollsKSTP) November 7, 2014
Maybe the most bizarre thing about the whole incident is where the photo came from. The KSTP report portrays it as "Betsy Hodges posing with a convicted felon while flashing a known gang sign."
But in a video titled #FreeTheVote, from the organization Neighborhoods Organizing For Change, you can see how the picture came to be. There was no kind of malicious intent from the looks of it, just Hodges and Gordon being kinda awkward (forward to around the :30 mark to take a look):
Twitter is still exploding, so we'll keep updating as the story develops.