Internet trolls have been sharing fake pictures of “missing people” from the suicide attack in Manchester. There have also been reports of “false terror attacks.” Police warn the public only to trust and share information from trusted sources.
After the deadly suicide bombing attack that happened in Manchester on Monday evening, which saw 22 people killed and over 50 injured, people on social media are sharing pictures of friends and/or family who attended the concert with them but are now missing. However, many have been sharing fake pictures of those who did not even attend the event.
The moves have seemingly become a way for users to gain shares and retweets.
One person wrote that their cousin’s girlfriend has been missing since the concert, but another user commented saying that they knew the girl in the photo and that she did not even go to the concert.
Fake News! This is NOT Ariana Grande in Manchester. It’s from a filmset in 2015. Stay safe! pic.twitter.com/FhoqSISO4e
— Julian Paul (@bildschirmspiel) May 22, 2017
Others posted pictures of internet celebrities, including YouTubers, but many are just random individuals.
Some of the users who are posting fake missing pictures are specifically trying to harass people they don’t like- such as by posting unflattering pictures. False terror attacks have also been reported around the UK.
Reactions To The Fake Posts
The police have warned against people sharing unofficial posts of missing people because of how they could be used to distress the public, and potentially harass people who don’t wish to have their images shared online.
They have since told the public that they should only believe or share posts from trusted sources.
Users have taken to social media to debunk fake reports and ensure that viewers are aware of the ongoing issue.
— ㅤ (@howeII) May 23, 2017
Another FAKE Manchester Missing persons tweet. Please don’t this. It makes people’s jobs harder. pic.twitter.com/Zwwz14f021
— Nick Monroe (@nickmon1112) May 23, 2017
This is one example of how important it is to make sure users find credible sources for information online. It highlights how easy it is for trolls to cause mass distress in the midst of high tensions.
This also highlights how social media companies still struggle to control fake news and misleading information on their platforms, an issue that has gained notoriety in the past year.