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On August 26th, 2012, major news media outlets in the United States began reporting on the impending arrival of Tropical Storm Issac on the Gulf Coast. During the live coverage of the storm’s predicted trajectory path, the Weather Channel erroneously referred to the state of Mississippi as “the land mass” between New Orleans, Louisiana and Mobile, Alabama.
Coinciding with the anniversary of the deadly Hurricane Katrina which inflicted heavy damages to the state of Mississipi, the on-air gaffe by the weather forecast network instantly led to an outpour of criticisms and mockeries from Facebook users who perceived the label “the land mass” as negligent practice of journalism.
Within hours of the The Weather Channel’s report, Facebook users began posting angry reactions to the news station’s official Facebook and Twitter, criticizing its use of the term “land mass” as an utter deficiency of basic understanding in the U.S. geography.
Later that same day, an independent Facebook page titled “The Land Mass Between NOLA and Mobile” was launched as a place for Mississippian Facebook users to cope with their state being neglected by the news media. By Monday afternoon, the Facebook page had reportedly gained more than 34,000 likes and accumulated nearly 200 user-generated images poking fun at the awkward phrase.
On August 31st, 2012, the urban dictionary chose “Landmass” as their word of the day: