How a false snow forecast spread so fast - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

How a false snow forecast spread so fast

Posted: Updated:

Here's a modern day reality check: about a third of all adults under the age of 30 get their news from social media. This week, a false post on a popular weather blogger's Facebook page became a trending story about an impending blizzard. It wasn't true, but it scared a lot of people.

Cold winter weather has already left many New Yorkers feeling a bit raw this year. Maybe that's why so many people believed an internet rumor about a big storm this weekend that might bring 30 inches of snow.

Here is how that rumor started. Someone posted a link to an old article about a big winter storm to Facebook. Apparently they didn't check the date. That big storm threat was last year. Next, the website Gawker mistakenly added the trending Facebook post to its roundup, and the rumor was born.

The Gawker post has more than 800,000 hits. The year-old information spread across the Internet so quickly that even the National Weather Service put out a bulletin informing the public that 30 inches of snow just isn't in the forecast this weekend.

Eric Holthaus, a meteorologist with slate.com and one of the first people to unravel the rumor, said via Skype that people are on edge about when the storm is coming because we've had so many cold outbreaks.

John Cook, the editor of Gawker, tweeted earlier this week that the old article "accidentally got added to a link round-up" after someone else misread the date and it got shared around.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • NYSE rings bell for pediatric cancer awareness

    NYSE rings bell for pediatric cancer awareness

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 7:00 PM EDT2014-08-27 23:00:54 GMT
    On Wednesday, the world famous New York Stock Exchange closing bell rang in honor of pediatric cancer awareness. The Loccisano family says their beloved Frankie heard the bell all the way up in heaven. Frankie's grandmother says she is convinced of it. Camille Loccisano, Frankie's mother, is the executive director of Frankie's Mission, a nonprofit pediatric cancer foundation named in her son's honor.
    On Wednesday, the world famous New York Stock Exchange closing bell rang in honor of pediatric cancer awareness. The Loccisano family says their beloved Frankie heard the bell all the way up in heaven. Frankie's grandmother says she is convinced of it. Camille Loccisano, Frankie's mother, is the executive director of Frankie's Mission, a nonprofit pediatric cancer foundation named in her son's honor.
  • Metro-North safety practices faulted

    Metro-North safety practices faulted

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 6:07 PM EDT2014-08-27 22:07:45 GMT
    The Metro-North Railroad has sacrificed safety for on-time performance, according to a report released Wednesday by a Metropolitan Transportation Authority panel. The report echoes an assessment conducted this year by the Federal Railroad Administration, which investigated after a string of Metro-North accidents including a December 2013 derailment that killed four riders in the Bronx.
    The Metro-North Railroad has sacrificed safety for on-time performance, according to a report released Wednesday by a Metropolitan Transportation Authority panel. The report echoes an assessment conducted this year by the Federal Railroad Administration, which investigated after a string of Metro-North accidents including a December 2013 derailment that killed four riders in the Bronx.
  • Dangerous rip currents at NJ, NY beaches

    Dangerous rip currents at NJ, NY beaches

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 4:54 PM EDT2014-08-27 20:54:07 GMT
    Several beaches on the New Jersey and New York coastlines are open to visitors but closed to swimming because of high surf and dangerous rip currents. The National Weather Service has issued a High Surf Advisory and Rip Current Statement for the area beaches because of the effects of Hurricane Cristobal, which is expected to track south and east of the Jersey shore through Thursday.
    Several beaches on the New Jersey and New York coastlines are open to visitors but closed to swimming because of high surf and dangerous rip currents. The National Weather Service has issued a High Surf Advisory and Rip Current Statement for the area beaches because of the effects of Hurricane Cristobal, which is expected to track south and east of the Jersey shore through Thursday.
Powered by WorldNow
Untitled

WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
5151 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Main Number: (202) 244-5151
Newsroom: (202) 895-3000
fox5tips@wttg.com

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices