The Free-Lance Star drew criticism Sunday evening with a Facebook caption that preceded an article about a distracted driving simulator.
The caption, which stated “Brooke Point High School sophomores watched as their principal, Tim Roberts, started driving home from a party under the influence of seven alcoholic beverages,” failed to mention the instance was part of a distracted driving simulator that the high school had recently hosted. It was posted above the article’s headline of “Distracted driving simulator visits Brooke Point High School.” The newspaper’s logo accompanied the update in lieu of media.
Followers immediately reacted in the comments.
“I don’t want to be called a “you know who”, but that header could be very damaging! I know a lot of people that just read the headline and that’s all,” one user wrote.
“As a BP parent this is appalling that you would write something like this as a headline! FLS DO better!” stated another.
One commenter stated “That’s a very misleading intro,” while others called it click bait and questioned whether the caption bordered on defamation.
Nearly two hours after publish, the post remains unchanged on the Free-Lance Star Facebook page. The Free-Lance Star did not immediately respond to a request for comment.