Social Media and the Yogi Berra Obit Boo-Boo Lesson

If you were on social media yesterday, you probably saw that baseball great Yogi Berra was trending. Sadly, it was because he had passed away overnight, but the Internet took the unfortunate news and spun it into a remembrance of a great baseball player who transcended his sport.

Then later in the morning, this happened.

In the rush to publish the news, the Associated Press mistakenly identified Yogi Berra as Yogi Bear in his obituary notice. Yogi Bear. Not the great Yankees slugger who won 10 World Series and was known around the world for his Yogi-isms, but the cartoon character that roamed Jellystone Park and stole picnic baskets.

Apparently this mistake was corrected in less than a minute, but not before the eagle-eyed Internet found out. And that’s when the "Boo-Boo" jokes and bad press started.

Of course, the AP is a global media outlet that garners many eyes and much scrutiny for its online blunders, but the lesson here is clear: The Internet does not tolerate shoddy journalism in an effort to be first. Fact-checking and editing should still come before hitting the “Post” button; if it doesn’t, social media is waiting to make you pay. And it will. Just ask the AP.