The Bomb of Missing People

by ruthgebreyes1 on February 13, 2018 - 2:54pm

Elena Cresci is a young woman who attended Cardiff University and received a diploma in Journalism and also attended Swansea University in English Literature and German.I would consider Cresci a reliable source based on her education level and experiences working for The Guardian and Channel 4 News. This can be seen as a credible source that can be taken seriously.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/26/the-story-behind-the-fake-manchester-attack-victims   

 

Elena Cresci wrote an article on May 26, 2017 about an unidentified man who detonated a bomb at an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester venue, killing 22 and injuring at least 59. The Manchester Police confirmed that children are among the deceased. Elena discussed the main issue with this event which is that multiple people took it upon themselves to write about stories on social media platforms about this horrific event despite it being false.

These individuals who published on social media are implying that a number of victims have gone missing, making these post go viral. Multiple pictures and descriptions of the “victims” were added such as: “Help my sister is missing in #Munich, she was working in McDonalds when the shooting started”

 

Finding the original first post who have claimed a missing person during the Manchester Terror Attack is impossible. Thousands of people have followed along the original post and continued adding missing people which makes it hard to trace the person who had started originally. Meanwhile the Guardian pressed found people who had followed the original post, such as @Gamergateantifa who said it was mainly about fooling the media: “It has become sort of a competition of who can fool the news”

 

All these posts follow a single pattern which is selecting a “victim” at random. Most of the people tweeting about the missing individuals have no idea who the person in the photo really is, some are not even from Manchester.For example, Rachel Devine who had just come out of surgery received a message from a friend asking if her daughter Gemma was ok. Someone had seen a post claiming she was at the concert.This was strange, because Devine knew Gemma was not in Manchester; she was at her school in Melbourne, Australia.

Now, you may ask “Doesn’t Twitter have some kind of accountability?” Well, many of the hoax tweets were taken down, or the accounts behind them suspended, but not all of them. There are some suspected fake accounts which form part of news reports. The Guardian contacted Twitter for clarification on their policy around this particular trend. They refused to comment. Some individuals say that Twitter should have done more to avoid the situation, since it is affecting innocent peoples lives not physically but rather emotionally.

 

Comments

Hey,

The thing is that, in almost every single one of these instances, the trolls succeeded in their attempts to mess with the media. Trolling continues because it is just so effective and hilarious in some situations. In your article, you mention how some people wanted twitter, the social media of choice for these said trolls, to react more actively towards these hoaxes. I totally disagree: I think twitter should not be responsible for the acts of its users. I would instead blame the media, whom failed to see through these obvious hoaxes (notably the instance with "TheReportOfTheWeek") and spread false information because of a lack of research within their establishment. The media has nothing to gain from researching and validating the information they post online, since they can just blame trolls afterwards. To wrap up, it is unethical to spread false information about these kinds of incidents, as they can slow down the search for potential victims, but the media allows it by not fact checking their info.

Trolling is an art, an unstoppable force that we must deal with.

First of all, your article is well written and very easy to understand. I liked the fact you introduce us in the situation before to say your point of view about the topic. In addition to that, it's interesting to have included a example to demonstrate and to support your claim about the random victim. This example help us to understand the problem with this strange phenomenon on Twitter. However, when you say: " Doesn’t Twitter have some kind of accountability?”, I disagree with you. Firstly, because Twitter is not originally an application to communicate false informations. So, according to me, the accountability belong only at the users and not at the application itself.