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Who is Emily Wilder? Jewish AP journalist hired 16 days ago fired for 'bias’ in tweets on Israel and Palestine

Wilder, who is Jewish, claimed she was not told which of her social media posts had violated the policy and said the firing from Associated Press was 'really devastating'
UPDATED MAY 23, 2021
Emily Wilder said that she wasn't informed which of her tweets violated AP's social media policy (Twitter)
Emily Wilder said that she wasn't informed which of her tweets violated AP's social media policy (Twitter)

American News Agency, Associated Press (AP) terminated the employment of one of its employees, Emily Wilder after some of her tweets on the Israel-Palestine issue created a huge uproar on Twitter. Wilder was fired over charges of 'violating the social media policies' of the company.

Wilder, who is a Jew, told the Washington Post that she wasn't informed which of her tweets violated the policy but was told that her tweets had shown "sheer bias". Hired on May 3, talking about getting fired in just over 16 days, Wilder told Washinton Post, "It’s really devastating." One of the tweets that Wilder had put up was “referencing her advocacy for the Palestinian people and opposition to the actions of the Israeli government,” the report said. According to the Washington Post, a spokesperson for AP confirmed that Wilder was “dismissed for violations of AP’s social media policy during her time at AP.”


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What were the tweets that got Emily Wilder fired?

Wilder announced on April 10 that she was joining AP as a news associate in Phoenix. Wilder's Twitter timeline is filled with tweets over the Israel-Palestine issue. According to Wilder, 'she was an active member of the pro-Palestinian groups Jewish Voice for Peace and Students for Justice in Palestine at Stanford University, from which she graduated in 2020'. 

On May 16, she criticized the news media for how they described the situation in Sheikh Jarrah, a neighborhood in East Jerusalem, that has seen conflicts between Israeli settlers, Palestinian civilians and the Israeli military, according to Post report. “‘Objectivity’ feels fickle when the basic terms we use to report news implicitly stake a claim. Using ‘israel’ but never ‘palestine,’ or ‘war’ but not ‘siege and occupation’ are political choices — yet the media make those exact choices all the time without being flagged as biased (sic),” she tweeted.

News outlets such as the Federalist, Washington Free Beacon and more called out the wire service for Wilder’s hiring and connecting it to the Israeli army’s recent destruction of the Associated Press’s Gaza bureau. The Post said “the Stanford College Republicans flagged a post that Wilder made in college, characterizing her as an ‘anti-Israel agitator’ and criticizing the Associated Press for hiring her”.


What's Emily Wilder's stance on getting fired?

Wilder released a statement on her termination from The Associated Press on her Twitter. "Last Monday, the Stanford College Republicans launched a smear campaign against me attempting to "expose' my already public history of activism for Palestinian human rights at Stanford University. I was transparent with my editors, and they assured me I would not face punishment for my previous activism. I was told my editors were only hoping to support me as I received an onslaught of sexist, antisemitic, racist, and violent comments, and messages," part of her statement read.

In the statement, Wilder slammed AP, asking what kind of message is being sent to young people “who are hoping to channel righteous indignation or passion for justice into impactful storytelling.” 

“What future does it promise to aspiring reporters that an institution like The Associated Press would sacrifice those with the least power to the cruel trolling of a group of anonymous bullies?” she stated. “What does it mean for this industry that even sharing the painful experiences of Palestinians or interrogating the language we use to describe them can be seen as irredeemably ‘biased?'”

“This is heartbreaking as a young journalist so hungry to learn from the fearless investigative reporting of AP journalists — and do that reporting myself. It’s terrifying as a young woman who was hung out to dry when I needed support from my institution most. And it’s enraging as a Jewish person — who grew up in a Jewish community, attended Orthodox schooling and devoted my college years to studying Palestine and Israel — that I could be defamed as antisemitic and thrown under the bus in the process,” she said in the statement.


AP's statement on the firing

Speaking to The Wrap, a representative for the organization shared, “The Associated Press covers conflicts all over the world. Our social media guidelines exist to ensure AP’s ability to cover the news accurately and impartially, and to keep our journalists safe. Every AP journalist around the world has the responsibility to adhere to our news values and social media policy.”

A second representative who spoke to the outlet stated, “We have this policy so the comments of one person cannot create dangerous conditions for our journalists covering the story. Every AP journalist is responsible for safeguarding our ability to report on this conflict, or any other, with fairness and credibility, and cannot take sides in public forums.”

Social media reacts to Emily Wilder's firing

"They messed with the wrong one. I have every confidence you’ll land somewhere that will allow you to let your moral compass guide you and let you use your voice to your fullest so you can have even more impact on the path to justice. Supporting you all the way, said one social media user as they sympathized with Wilder.  Another shared: "This is disheartening & my thoughts goes out to you. When a defining moment comes, define the moment else the moment defines you. It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. I leave you with the choice of #hive because #hivefixesthis. No censorship."

"@AP  owes Emily Wilder and the public an explanation and an apology for their actions," claimed one social media user.  "A journalist has been silenced/cancelled because powerful conservative lawmakers disagree with her writing, yet #joerogan openly complains about cancel culture while sitting in front of a microphone making over 100 million reaching a limitless number of people with no sign of," said another social media user in solidarity with Emily Wilder.