On September 13, dozens of natural gas explosions hit three towns north of Boston, killing one person and impacting thousands more. In the first few hectic hours after the blasts, the Massachusetts State Police official Twitter account posted a tweet reading:
Updated plotting of confirmed fires and explosions by MSP Watch Center. 39 locations confirmed thus far. Number will grow. New responses ongoing. Reminder: all residents of Lawrence/Andover/N Andover who have Columbia Gas must evacuate, as should anyone else who smells gas.
Accompanying the tweet was an image of a map on a computer screen, showing locations of “confirmed fires and explosions.” Also visible in the image of the computer screen were bookmarks in a Google Chrome web browser.
Almost immediately, people on social media began to point to something disturbing about the image: The bookmarks bar on the Massachusetts State