Tags: Media Bias | earthquake | fake news | Twitter | robot

Fake Quake News: Robot Pens Piece 92 Years Late

Image: Fake Quake News: Robot Pens Piece 92 Years Late
(AP Photo/Alex Menendez)

By    |   Wednesday, 21 Jun 2017 10:49 PM

With robots taking over everything else, it should be no surprise they are now in the "fake news" business.

The Los Angeles Times had to retract an automated news story and an accompanying tweet Wednesday after it reported a 6.8 magnitude earthquake in Isla Vista, California. The only problem: That earthquake happened in 1925.

Turns out, Quakebot generates automated stories based on alerts sent out by the U.S. Geological Survey, so when the USGS accidentally sent out an alert, Quakebot went to work.

According to the Times, the whole thing started when a staffer at Caltech noticed the exact location of the deadly 1925 quake was about six miles off in the records and attempted to correct it.

That change, however, was interpreted by software as a new event and was sent out over the USGS's email system, which automatically sends out alerts. The Times' robotic newsman picked up the scoop, fashioned it into a news story and dutifully sent out a tweet.

Despite the nonexistence of the earthquake, it still managed to produce aftershocks on Twitter:

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With robots taking over everything else, it should be no surprise they are now in the "fake news" business.
earthquake, fake news, Twitter, robot
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2017-49-21
Wednesday, 21 Jun 2017 10:49 PM
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