How a false snow forecast spread so fast - FOX 35 News Orlando

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>>

  • Deep split in Port Authority over unfinished WTC tower

    Deep split in Port Authority over unfinished WTC tower

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:03 PM EDT2014-04-24 01:03:40 GMT
    Board members of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey revealed a deep split Wednesday over the agency's role in effecting the completion of the long-delayed 3 World Trade Center project, with some commissioners lauding the effort and others expressing grave concerns. The discussion at the monthly board meeting offered a rare glimpse into the negotiations that have been going on behind the scenes in recent months.
    Board members of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey revealed a deep split Wednesday over the agency's role in effecting the completion of the long-delayed 3 World Trade Center project, with some commissioners lauding the effort and others expressing grave concerns. The discussion at the monthly board meeting offered a rare glimpse into the negotiations that have been going on behind the scenes in recent months.
  • God's Love We Deliver virtual bake sale for birthday cakes

    God's Love We Deliver virtual bake sale for birthday cakes

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:36 PM EDT2014-04-23 22:36:46 GMT
    God's Love We Deliver provides meals to people in the New York City area who are too sick to shop and cook for themselves. Clients also receive birthday cards that are decorated by local school students. Sometimes a cake is the only birthday gift that God's Love's clients will receive.
    God's Love We Deliver provides meals to people in the New York City area who are too sick to shop and cook for themselves. Clients also receive birthday cards that are decorated by local school students. Sometimes a cake is the only birthday gift that God's Love's clients will receive.
  • Success Academy students waiting for word on new locations

    Success Academy students waiting for word on new locations

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 5:58 PM EDT2014-04-23 21:58:48 GMT
    The mayor's office is saying one thing. The charter schools another. It is a lot of he said, she said. The bottom line is that right now the future of three charter schools is still unclear. Jennifer Duran is afraid because she doesn't know where her two children are going to school next year. Both kids attend success academy Harlem 4, one of three charter schools that still does not have a set location. The other two charters are Success Academy Jamaica in Queens and Success Academy City Hall.
    The mayor's office is saying one thing. The charter schools another. It is a lot of he said, she said. The bottom line is that right now the future of three charter schools is still unclear. Jennifer Duran is afraid because she doesn't know where her two children are going to school next year. Both kids attend success academy Harlem 4, one of three charter schools that still does not have a set location. The other two charters are Success Academy Jamaica in Queens and Success Academy City Hall.
Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

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