Business Insider Retracts Fake News Report Claiming Mass Migration Out of Florida

Business Insider was forced to issue a correction on Tuesday after falsely reporting that more people were moving out of Florida than California and New York.

The outlet published an article entitled “More people actually moved out of Florida than New York or California in 2021.” According to the piece, 674,740 residents left the state of Florida, eclipsing the total of 433,402 residents leaving California and the 287,249 that had fled New York.

A quick fact check by Twitter users, including members of the DeSantis War Room, revealed that was not the case. Columbia-educated real estate journalist Kelsey Neubauer, in her rush to publish the hit against the Sunshine State, had actually gotten the numbers reversed.

“Business Insider journalist [Kelsey Neubauer] apparently does not know how to read a spreadsheet,” DeSantis adviser Christina Pushaw wrote on Twitter. “That figure — 674,740 — is people who moved TO Florida, not OUT OF Florida.”

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“Kelsey Neubauer (she/her pronouns) is a Columbia University journalism graduate and … get this… a REAL ESTATE REPORTER.  If more people moved OUT of Florida than any other state, please explain why the Florida real estate market is like this….” ~ Christina Pushaw

The fake news report received a serious battering on social media.

“At least they deleted it, but holy sh-t [Business Insider] is beyond trash,” commentator Dave Rubin commented on Twitter.

“Imagine their excitement thinking they had a big scoop. They looked at that Census Bureau population characteristics table and thought, ‘GOT ‘EM!’ Not once did instinct creep in to alert them that there was a reason why this goes against everything said on the topic in 2 years.” ~ Kyle Lamb [@kylamb8]

“[Kelsey Neubauer] I’m just curious how things work in the media,” another commenter said “Did you call anyone from Governor DeSantis office to apologize for an attempted hit piece? Or do you just move on like a drive by shooting?”

Following the backlash online, Business Insider deleted their original tweet and issued a correction on the original article, claiming that they “switched” the numbers. An editor’s note at the top of the page reads,

This story has been updated to correct an error regarding Census data. In 2021, an estimated 469,577 people moved out of Florida, while 674,740 people relocated to the state. An earlier version of the story switched those numbers.

But readers were not buying the explanation. One commenter pointed out a tone shift between the hit piece and the revised article, noting less emphasis on the “scientific” accuracy of the report.

“I gave [Kelsey Neubauer] and [Business Insider] the benefit of the doubt. But this still is a pure hit piece. Look at the cleanup: In the false story the data was a ‘scientific’ estimate from a huge sample. In the retraction; it’s now just an estimate with a large margin of error.” ~ Frog Capital [@FrogNews]

“This has to be one of the best self-owns in recent history,” another user replied. “Those articles side-by-side are priceless.”

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