It was a simple tweet, with just a hint of edge. After police used tear gas and rubber bullets against Black Lives Matter protesters in Berkeley, Calif., on Dec. 6, Kaya Oakes, an author and lecturer who teaches writing at the University of California, Berkeley, posted a note offering students injured in the protest extra time to finish an assignment.

“If any of my #Berkeley students were teargassed, batoned, or shot w/rubber bullets last night, you can have an extension on your essay,” Ms. Oakes tweeted.

The tweet was tongue-in-cheek, according to Oakes, but it was also a show of support for what she thought was a largely peaceful protest that police met with undue force. But after conservative pundit Michelle Malkin’s Twitchy blog picked up Oakes’s tweet, it took on a life of its own. Over the course of the next two days, Oakes’s tweet showed up on the blog of Megyn Kelly at Fox News, the Fox and Friends’ Facebook page, and a local CBS affiliate.

Read the rest of this article by Harry Bruinius, to which I contributed reporting, at the Christian Science Monitor …