You may have heard how police in Baltimore announced a "credible threat" by gangs to attack officers. Seems they put a bulletin to that effect up on a network used by police departments across the country. Patch, the former AOL hyperlocal network, immediately posted stories on its sites across eastern Massachusetts with headlines blaring:
'Credible threat' warning issued that gangs might target [name of town] police
'Credible threat' warning issued that gangs might target Medford police
'Credible threat' warning issued that gangs might target Somerville police
The three or four anxious Medford or Somerville residents who saw the headline would, one presumes, immediately click on the story - and then read an account of violence in Baltimore that didn't once mention their city, because Patch used the fill-in-the-blank headline for a single story they just ran everywhere.
On the Facebook page for Melrose Patch, an editor felt compelled to add this to the top of the scare headline:
Don't get us wrong, the keyword here is definitely "might."
Still, they've since changed the headline to something more generic, no doubt a relief to Melrose residents worried about being beaten by gang members from several hundred miles away.