If you happened to be on CNN’s iReport yesterday you might have noticed a story with the title, “Giant asteroid possibly on collision course with Earth.” Naturally, the story started to get lots of clicks. The only problem was that there was no giant asteroid heading our way that only a team or renegade oil drillers could stop.
iReport allows users to submit story headlines that CNN will exploit for ad revenue. And being that most of the internet was slacking over the holiday weekend, trolling the news network became especially easy according to Examiner:
Spooling out a very dubious tale, the iReporter, Marcus575, states matter of factly that NASA scientists have recently discovered an asteroid the “size of Manhattan” which had been nudged out of its orbit when passing Mars, putting the giant space rock “on a high speed collision course with our fragile planet.”
Somebody get Michael Bay on the phone and crank up that crappy Aerosmith song — it’s 1997 and Ben Affleck is the only one that can save us!
The bogus report got nearly 250,000 hits before somebody at CNN returned from their coffee break to investigate the post. The story was of course pulled from the site after they tapped into NASA to expel any doomsday theories:
“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.”
So it would appear that Michael Bay’s prophecy remains just a cinema nightmare and not an actual reality, for now.