The Rise and Fall of The #BroomChallenge

The Rise and Fall of The #BroomChallenge

Emma Walrath, Editor in Chief

A Twitter user  tweets out, “NASA said February 10th is the only day that your broom will stand up on its own because of the Earth’s gravitational pull”, and the internet goes bananas. Even though there was no official information by NASA, videos and pictures of brooms standing straight up, no strings attached multiplied. People were going crazy over their brooms, celebrities like Paula Abdul, Future, DJ Khaled and loads of others were a part of the thousands of tweets. It even got launched on to the trending page.

For some odd reason the fascination with these vertical brooms brought so much joy to people, but sadly the #BroomChallenge was debunked. Your broom can stand up right any day of the year. Evidently, it has nothing to do with the gravitational pull of the earth on a particular day, it is just a matter of balance. If the bristles are positioned correctly, like a tripod, it will stand any day of the year because of basic physics. It all has to do with the center of gravity of your broom.

It is fascinating how quickly the misinformation spread. Dr. Becky Smethurst, an astrophysicist from the University of Oxford, told BBC she could not believe the misinformation being spread online. “When I saw this today on social media I couldn’t believe what I was seeing in terms of the misinformation that was spreading. It highlights the importance of social media verification and using trusted sources from the scientific community.” Even though the lack of fact-checking online is scary, some have found it as a way for humor and a bit of learning. LA-based meteorologist Cory Smith who said on Twitter, “Did you know that due to the gravitational force NASA says you will be able to stand using both legs tomorrow?”

There will always be misinformation on the internet, but it’s sad that this silly trend that brought so many people joy was debunked.