Thursday, August 10, 2017

Stupid headline of the day — July 27, 2017

And the stupid headline of the day goes to Gizmodo for this doozy: "Astronomers Capture Wild Intergalactic Gamma Ray Burst As It Happens."

Anyone who knows science knows that things that show up here on Earth didn't just happen. In this case, the event happened nine billion years ago. Think about that for a second and reread "As It Happens."

Second, you would expect that this observation occurred today, maybe yesterday. No, it happened over a year ago, on June 25, 2016. The thing that happened today is that Gizmodo found out about it and wet their pants over it.

Finally, and I'm grasping at straws here, it took them three minutes into the event to start recording it. What did they miss? They can only guess. They did get some exciting data four minutes into the event.

The story is a great story. It's the click-bait headline I object to. But the headline worked; enough people clicked on it that it showed up in my Google News Feed. Sadly, this is what journalism has become: It's all about how many clicks you get, some from real people and some from bots!

In writing this post, I spent some time on Gizmodo and it does have some good stories.

(I originally posted this on Facebook on July 27.)

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