Reporters are often advised to keep their eyes open and an ear out for a potential scoop. It's what separates great journalists from good ones, but sometimes this habit backfires.
This is what happened to Huffington Post reporter Ryan J. Reilly who kept his eye open so much that he started seeing things that didn't exist.
Having been assigned the task of covering the Ferguson protest, Reilly's desire for scoops was so strong that he swept the area for things he found on the streets that could be tied with police brutality and its use of extreme force. He then asked his Twitter followers for an opinion on what his latest finding could be:
Unfortunately for him, the rubber bullets which Mr. Scoop-hunter had stumbled upon in Ferguson weren't actually bullets. Try earplugs!
His mistake rapidly spawned a new trend #CanYouConfirm, and there is no need to ask what Twitter did to him next. This:
I believe this is a military assault rifle. Can anyone confirm? pic.twitter.com/aHczPeUuJR— Benjarvis Ghazi (@Ironghazi) August 17, 2014