So when the top trend on Twitter suggested that Wayne Rooney was out for six weeks, you'd have been forgiven for thinking the worst.
However, it was all a trick, with rumours of his demise greatly exaggerated.
The trend appears to have begun with a Twitter user with the handle @wroetoshaw, who, with 270,000 Twitter followers, started a competition with #RooneyOutFor6Weeks as the hashtag:
Guess a number between 1-10,000 with the #RooneyOutFor6Weeks WINNER GETS 1 MILLION COINS!!— Harry (@wroetoshaw) June 10, 2014
You have to use the hashtag #RooneyOutFor6Weeks or you wont be entered!— Harry (@wroetoshaw) June 10, 2014
The next step was a bit of cheeky piece of Photoshopping, to make it look as if Rooney himself had been tweeting about an injury.
wroetoshaw) June 10, 2014
People entered the competition, simply hitting the hashtag and then adding a random number to the end. In less than an hour, it had risen to become the top-trending tag nationwide and then, naturally, had taken on a life of its own.
Most people would never notice the origins of the term and instead just see the trend in isolation. So the use of the hashtag changed accordingly, with people emerging with their views—good and bad—about Rooney's place in the team:
#RooneyOutFor6Weeks not sure if its true but last World Cup he scored the same number of goals as me and I was at home sitting on my arse— damian joyce (@damjoy) June 10, 2014
Now all the story requires is for Rooney to have to go to the trouble of clarifying that he's not injured—which is, to all current knowledge, how things are. Soon something else—possibly about One Direction—will take #RooneyOutFor6Weeks' place at the top of the trends bar, and we can all slowly but surely move on with our lives.
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