Over the weekend, the National Post faced a whirlwind of attention and criticism – much if it involving puns about hair – from both traditional and social media after it removed a column by Margaret Atwood about Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s ’do and the upcoming Canadian federal election.
Atwood tweeted at the Post asking if she was being censored after she noticed her column was taken down hours after it was posted.
National Post senior vice-president Gerry Nott told the Toronto Star the piece was removed for fact-checking and because senior editorial leadership at the newspaper was unsure if it “aligned with the values of the National Post and its readers.”
The Post republished a new, shorter version of the column on Friday evening. A cached version of the original can be viewed on Google. Now magazine staff news writer Jonathan Goldsbie gave a full account of all changes made to the piece on his Twitter account.
Alterations included the cutting of segments about large anonymous donations to Harper’s campaign and his relation to the Mike Duffy trial.
The story got international traction, with coverage by The Guardian, Entertainment Weekly, CBC, Huffington Post, Canadaland, and other news outlets. Traditional coverage was complemented by a social media flurry that took over Twitter with the hashtag #hairgate.