The scourge of low-budget news broadcasts and impromptu live streams has reared its ugly head once again as a North Carolina TV reporter forgot to disable the wacky Facebook Live Mystery Mask augmented reality filters before going on air to report on some unusual snowfall in the area.
WLOS ABC 13 anchor Justin Hinton had no idea the filter was left on when he began his live broadcast in Asheville, North Carolina, about the city’s first real snowfall. For areas where heavy snowfalls aren’t common, and drivers aren’t used to slippery conditions, reports like these can be a useful way to remind those that can’t avoid the roads to use extra caution when driving.
Unfortunately, any gravitas Hinton attempted to imbue into the live remote was rendered completely moot by the fact that during the entire one minute broadcast his head and face were enhanced with wacky augmented reality effects including a space captain helmet, giant googly eyes, and what appeared to be a makeover inspired by the recent Hollywood flop, Cats.
It wasn’t until the live broadcast was over that Hinton realized something might have gone awry based on a flood of comments from viewers on Facebook who watched the whole thing happen in real-time. Thankfully, the filters weren’t particularly embarrassing, and while it will probably take Hinton a while to live down the mistake, there’s no question that more people have now seen his reporting skills in action as this clip slowly spreads its way across the internet.
Is there a lesson to be learned here? Of course, stop using Facebook, and this is what many of us would refer to as a light dusting as far as snowfall is concerned—the people of North Carolina will survive this one.