Seeing the iconic lines of the Declaration of Independence in a series of tweets instead of 241-year-old parchment left some people confused.
(CNN)NPR calling for listeners to overthrow the government definitely would have made for an interesting Independence Day.
But the public radio network wasn’t calling for a revolution, and it wasn’t calling the President a tyrant. NPR was just doing what it has done for years on the Fourth of July: Reciting the Declaration of Independence.
The organization has read the historic document on the air for nearly 30 years to celebrate the holiday.
This was the first time the tradition was adapted to Twitter. NPR posted the declaration word for word. But seeing the iconic lines on a platform other than 241-year-old parchment left some users a little, well, confused.
A few people didn’t recognize the thread of 112 revolutionary tweets as one of our nation’s most influential pieces of writing. And without scrolling through NPR’s feed for context, some thought the news outlet was encouraging Americans to revolt.
"So, NPR is calling for revolution," one user tweeted. "Interesting way to condone the violence while trying to sound ‘patriotic.’"
Others seemed concerned the organization appeared to take a political stance. One said the NPR journalists had a "mission," and another designated them as "fake news."
At least a couple of replies called for NPR to lose its funding. One responded, "Literally no one is going to read 5000 tweets about this trash." (The next morning, several people made donations to NPR in his name.)
Seriously, this is the dumbest idea I have ever seen on twitter. Literally no one is going to read 5000 tweets about this trash.
— Darren Mills 🇺🇸 (@darren_mills) July 4, 2017
By Wednesday, most people had realized their mistake and deleted their comments. The woman who told NPR that it was "not the right place" appears to have deleted her account.
"I won’t delete it," he wrote. "If my stupidity spurns us to READ our Declaration of Independence then I don’t mind the comments."