HOUSTON - "Fake news", has been the top story for a number of weeks.
In the weather last week, a fake weather forecast by a "Facebook weather forecaster", sent Atlanta running for the stores. This was a legitimately made-up fantasy by an enthusiast, calling for a blizzard, with exact expected snowfall amounts over a week before it was supposed to hit. People believed him without verifying with credible sources. His effort to create a buzz worked. It went viral.* [See my thoughts about 'viral' at the end of this blog.]
Already starting to see very IRRESPONSIBLE stuff like this, please beware of social mediarologist crap...follow credible sources pic.twitter.com/2pgueP7ANU— Marshall Shepherd (@DrShepherd2013) January 3, 2017
Ultimately, Atlanta saw only a brief coating of snow on the grass, with a little freezing rain on the trees. There was no blizzard, but school was closed for several days. It was nothing they haven't seen before. Not only did people spend extra money prepping for a cold week, but *actual* TV meteorologists spent their day dispelling these blizzard rumors, which took away from their time to make a real forecast. This hysteria spread across the southeast and we learned that in a zombie apocalypse, bread will be traded like gold.
*Why do we say, "viral", when describing something that spreads like the plague? Isn't that a negative connotation? We need a more positive word. Something farther from 'pandemic' and closer to 'puppy.' Maybe since catchy posts are shared exponentially, we should say they've gone, "expo." Catchy, right?
(© 2017 KHOU)