A simple misunderstanding of an online video lead to a quick spread of fake news across social channels on March 5th.
One Facebook user mistook a video of a 70 vehicle collision on a highway in Ames, Iowa for the pile-up that took place on highway 400 February 25th also involving approximately 70 vehicles. The user appeared to have missed the words “Iowa DOT” in the top right corner of the video suggesting the video had been sourced from the Iowa Department of Transportation.
After the video was posted with the caption “Last Monday’s Hwy 400 pileup – Wow… all I can say…WOW “, thousands of others shared the video convinced it was the accident that took place near Barrie.
After some debate in the comment section, people realized they had been deceived and confirmed that the events in the video actually took place 1 000 km from Barrie. The video now has over 25 000 shares and over 1.3 million views.
The Facebook user who posted the video has since changed their caption to say:
“Sorry …WOW Barrie had a 70 car pile up on 400 HWY. Last week…. and 50 car on hwy 11 we were told to stay off the roads due to high winds….this is not 400 however shows how accidents happen quite clearly….drive safe and get winter tires if you don’t have them – they have better traction in cold weather.”