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Fake Asteroid Apocalypse Article Goes Viral On CNN’s iReport

CNN’s iReport is a sort of user-generated section where CNN publishes reports recommended by the users. Recently, an asteroid apocalypse article posted in the iReport section went viral before CNN took it off for being fake.


iReport article

Naturally, if an article quotes many seeming facts and looks real while talking about how the Doom’s Day is imminent due to an asteroid strike, it is sure to cause sensation. That is exactly what happened with the fake article in question. It was shared 23,000 times on the social media and had already been viewed 200,000 times before CNN pulled it off.

Quoting fictitious findings, the article stated, “Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have detected a large object the size of Manhattan possibly on a collision course with Earth. Using their Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE), the 10-mile wide object was found approximately 51 million miles from Earth. Scientists believe that during a close encounter with Mars, the asteroid was nudged slightly off its usual orbit and may currently be on a high speed collision course with our fragile planet. The asteroid is calculated to have a potentially lethal encounter with the Earth on March 35, 2041.”

Typically, certain iReport pieces are marked by CNN as approved while many are branded as ‘Not vetted by CNN.’ This was a case of the latter category and after the glaring fiction in the above-quoted article was spotted by the folks at CNN, it was removed with the following note, “CNN PRODUCER NOTE: NASA has confirmed via email that this story is false. A spokeswoman for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory says that the largest object detected by NEOWISE measures 3 km in diameter and poses no risk to Earth. The iReport has been removed. – davidw, CNN iReport producer.”

Courtesy: Pop Sci

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