Author J.K. Rowling has finally deleted tweets accusing President Donald Trump of ignoring a disabled child, three days after tweeting the "pants-on-fire" claim. Rowling retweeted a video that showed Trump seemingly ignoring the outstretched hand of a small child in a wheelchair, and said the president was a "monster of narcissism." Although the full context of the video was quickly discovered--and as it turns out, Trump spent more time with the child than he did with anyone else in the room--Rowling refused to acknowledge her error or delete the tweets until late Monday evening. The boy in question's mother even defended the president, explaining that her son was not trying to shake his hand, but rather was trying to show him a badge.
On Monday, Rowling deleted most of the previous thread of tweets, keeping the one where she said that Trump is having a "corrosive effect" on society. She also issued an apology--not to Trump, whom she accused of being an ableist and a narcissist, among other things--but to the boy and his family.
Re: my tweets about the small boy in a wheelchair whose proferred hand the president appeared to ignore in press footage, multiple /1— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) July 31, 2017
sources have informed me that that was not a full or accurate representation of their interaction. I very clearly projected my own /2— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) July 31, 2017
sensitivities around the issue of disabled people being overlooked or ignored onto the images I saw and if that caused any distress /3— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) July 31, 2017
to that boy or his family, I apologise unreservedly. These tweets will remain, but I will delete the previous ones on the subject. /4x— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) July 31, 2017
While it was nice of her to apologize for needlessly dragging that poor boy and his family through all of that, she still made those demonstrably false comments about the president that were picked up by other people and spread throughout the internet. Trump did not mistreat or ignore a small child with a disability. He did precisely the opposite of that--yet in the "tweet first, confirm facts later, apologize (maybe) never" strategy of social media, nobody cares.