What it sounds like:
 "RHS of assignment to existing column 'date' is zero length but not NULL. If you intend to delete the column use NULL. Otherwise, the RHS must have length > 0; e.g., NA_integer_. If you are trying to change the column type to be an empty list column then, as with all column type changes, provide a full length RHS vector such as vector('list',nrow(DT)); i.e., 'plonk' in the new column."