How a false snow forecast spread so fast

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>>

  • Manhattan fire hydrant earns more than average American

    Manhattan fire hydrant earns more than average American

    Thursday, August 21 2014 9:47 AM EDT2014-08-21 13:47:10 GMT
    One Manhattan fire hydrant has turned into a cash cow for the city.It's become a celebrity in revenue generator and it does not ask for sick days, gets no health benefits, and no 401(k). Yet it brings in tens of thousands of dollars for the city each year.The old hydrant is so notorious, it's got a personalized sign.. It sits across from 152 Forsyth St. and is a local legend.In just an eight month period the hydrant has caused drivers to get hundreds of tickets.The issue that catches drivers ...
    One Manhattan fire hydrant has turned into a cash cow for the city.It's become a celebrity in revenue generator and it does not ask for sick days, gets no health benefits, and no 401(k). Yet it brings in tens of thousands of dollars for the city each year.The old hydrant is so notorious, it's got a personalized sign.. It sits across from 152 Forsyth St. and is a local legend.In just an eight month period the hydrant has caused drivers to get hundreds of tickets.The issue that catches drivers ...
  • Zoo feeds roadkill to animals

    Zoo feeds roadkill to animals

    Thursday, August 21 2014 9:07 AM EDT2014-08-21 13:07:23 GMT
    Roadkill is part of the menu when it's feeding time at a zoo in western New York. The Seneca Park Zoo has been feeding deer carcasses to its carnivores for years. The practice began after a zoo employee hit a deer on the way to work. The zoo gets the deer after they've been hit by vehicles on Rochester-area roadways. But it won't accept deer that have been dead for more than 10 hours. The zoo also accepts deer killed by bow hunters.
    Roadkill is part of the menu when it's feeding time at a zoo in western New York. The Seneca Park Zoo has been feeding deer carcasses to its carnivores for years. The practice began after a zoo employee hit a deer on the way to work. The zoo gets the deer after they've been hit by vehicles on Rochester-area roadways. But it won't accept deer that have been dead for more than 10 hours. The zoo also accepts deer killed by bow hunters.

  • Park Service bans drones over Appalachian Trail

    Park Service bans drones over Appalachian Trail

    Thursday, August 21 2014 8:25 AM EDT2014-08-21 12:25:02 GMT
    The National Park Service has banned drones from flying over the Appalachian Trail. The Park Service said Wednesday the interim rule prohibits launching, landing or operating unmanned aircraft from or on Appalachian National Scenic Trail lands. The ban takes effect immediately and lasts until the Park Service can develop an appropriate policy. 
    The National Park Service has banned drones from flying over the Appalachian Trail. The Park Service said Wednesday the interim rule prohibits launching, landing or operating unmanned aircraft from or on Appalachian National Scenic Trail lands. The ban takes effect immediately and lasts until the Park Service can develop an appropriate policy. 
Powered by WorldNow
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