Union President Randi Weingarten Slammed For Sharing Fake List Of Banned Books

Union head Randi Weingarten was criticized on Twitter for sharing misinformation via a list of banned books that was fake.

By Erika Hanson | Published

National Teacher Unions Have Lost 200,000 Members

Randi Weingarten

Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), was berated online over the weekend for sharing a fake list of banned books to her Twitter account, which has nearly 119,000 followers. After being called out for sharing the fake list, she removed the original post and added an apology for sharing misinformation. However, as one of the most criticized union leaders in the United States, Weingarten was nonetheless berated for it. 

The original post made over the weekend was retweeted by Randi Weingarten from a Twitter account called Freesus Patriot. According to the user’s bio, it is run as a satirical account. But somehow, the 64-year-old union leader found the tweet of the fake list of banned books in Florida and shared it with her followers. The list contained popular titles like Of Mice And Men and To Kill A Mockingbird.

Randi Weingarten removed the Tweet once multiple users began pointing out that it was fake. On Sunday, the union head shared a similar tweet with a screenshot of the original and an apology. She noted that she should have “double checked” before she shared the information. “My bad,” she lamented. She turned off her replies, but that didn’t stop the union president from being ridiculed all across the social media platform.

Reshared nearly 500 times, Randi Weingarten was ridiculed by other users for her mistake. One said that the educator stopped using her brain long ago. They insinuated that she automatically shares any information that supports her worldview. Another noted that anyone who so easily shares misinformation should not be in charge of running the nation’s education system. 

Others turned the post into a chance to criticize Randi Weingarten for how she runs the AFT. One quipped that people shouldn’t worry, because, despite the fact that she is sharing misinformation, her union asserts that public school children are taught facts. Others took to name-calling, saying Weingarten was an “utter moron” for not instantly realizing the list came from a satirical account. 

Randi Weingarten has been the president of the AFT since 2008. She has been in the union business for nearly 30 years. Through the years, she has faced staunch criticism for what is often deemed hypocrisy in education reform. Escalating, her public view has been downgraded immensely following union pushes for extensive protocols and calls for longer school closures during the pandemic. 

While most of the books on the fake list were in actuality not being banned in Florida, Randi Weingarten was, in fact, being honest when she noted in her apology that book bans are real. Across the nation, schools are removing titles at historic rates due to challenges from lawmakers and parents. In Florida, many districts are undergoing book freezes and not taking in any new material as they navigate new laws that require them to review titles. 

This issue on Twitter in which Randi Weingarten shared misinformation sheds some light on a growing concern across the globe. The internet has set up a platform in which misinformation can be shared at startling rates. And unfortunately, that means individuals can often share potential “facts” that may not be true in order to further their views. Whether or not this was the union head’s goal, however, is uncertain.