Nate Silver Regrets Tweeting About His Own Arrest During Ferguson Clashes


After a pair of journalists were arrested Wednesday in Ferguson, Mo., Nate Silver was inspired to recount his own brush with the law. But in the cold light of Thursday, the data journalist realized that wasn’t such a great idea.

In an eight-part series of tweets on Wednesday night, Silver recalled his arrest, which apparently occurred a couple years ago as he returned home from picking up his dinner.

The details of the arrest, he admitted, were fuzzy, but here’s the gist: Silver was handcuffed and sent to jail by some cops after he refused to leave the area near his home, but then he apologized after being locked up for an hour and the officers suddenly turned “super chill.” They even allowed him to eat his burrito in the cell and then gave him a ride home.

The story was not well-received.

“Nate Silver, a man frequently hailed as the future of journalism, gave a master class this evening on How Not To React To The News That Doesn’t Involve You (Ferguson edition),” wrote Gawker’s Michelle Dean. “In short, don’t make it an occasion to tell the story about That Time You Were Arrested (as a white man) and the cops were actually nice and let you eat a burrito.”

By the next day, a chastened Silver owned up to his “stupid set of tweets,” and promised a “longer response.”