ABC News mistakenly published a rough draft of its reporting on Ivana Trump’s death Thursday, confusing readers and creating a viral moment on Twitter.
Media outlets clamored to quickly get the news out on the passing of Ivana Trump, the first wife of former President Donald Trump, late Thursday.
ABC News apparently was so eager that it mistakenly included pre-write notes in its reporting with the headline: “DO NOT PUB Ivana Trump, ex-wife of former President Trump, dies at age 73.
In the news business, the words “DO NOT PUB,” indicate that a story is not yet ready to be published.
The error initially catapulted ABC New’s story to the top of Ivana Trump obits in Google search. While the obit was quickly edited on ABC’s website, it remained on Google for nearly half an hour after the network published the story, according to Mediaite.
The headline quickly trended on Twitter as people outside of the news media business wondered what the “DO NOT PUB” meant on an article about the death of Ivana Trump, mother of Ivanka, Eric and Donald Trump Jr.
“What do you mean @ABC ?! Do not pub? Did you know it was going to happen!,” tweeted one perplexed user.
A bunch of reporters took to Twitter to explain that outlets often pre-write obituaries for notable people who are older or struggling with illness.
“Oof, someone forgot to remove “DO NOT PUB” note on the Ivana Trump obit ABC News published,” wrote one user. “For those unaware, publications oftentimes have prewritten obits ready for notable people to where they can add in the date and any new info when the person actually dies.”
Another Twitter user poked fun at the “conspiracy theories brewing” over ABC’s error, explaining that ABC merely forgot to take off the “DO NOT PUB” headline before publishing the obituary.
As of Friday morning, the correct headline — without “DO NOT PUB” — now appears on Google.