The AP’s first apology language

AUGUSTA, Ga.

— The AP apologized Tuesday for a widely criticized article that described the world as “a place of cruelty” and said “the most destructive words are those that don’t have an emotional context.”

The article, titled “Words matter,” said the phrase “most destructive words” is not “a good way to describe the world” and has been criticized for its insensitive tone and lack of context.

The apology comes after a group of AP journalists and editors launched an online petition on Tuesday demanding an apology.

The petition had garnered more than 7,000 signatures as of Wednesday morning.

On Monday, the AP also retracted a story it published about a white nationalist who said he killed a black man during a car chase in Virginia.

The article quoted a white supremacist who said the man was trying to grab his gun before he was shot, but the man did not kill him.

The AP retracted the story, but has yet to apologize for its use of the phrase.

Associated Press writers Jill Colvin in Washington, David Filipov in London and David E. Klutho in New York contributed to this report.