As Manchester comes to terms with a devastating suicide bomb attack during a music concert killing and injuring dozens, a plethora of misinformation and lies have spread on the Internet regarding the attack.
We take a look at some of these fake claims.
Fake missing children posts
A number of photos of children have circulated social media, especially Twitter, along with the claim that they attended the Ariana Grande concert and are currently missing. While some of these photos are genuine, many are not.
Some may have appeared due to genuine confusion, but sadly some have appeared by social media users intent on getting their posts to go viral by deliberately tricking other social media users into sharing images of “missing” people (who aren’t really missing at all.)
For example this image below was actually shared by The Daily Mail. However, it appears to have combined people who were at the concert with people who had nothing to do with it. while we cannot currently confirm the identity of all the people in these photos, we know that many of them are not missing and not even connected to the incident whatsoever.
This collage of images contains a girl from Australia (whose mother since confirmed she is safe) and various popular YouTubers, none of whom had anything to do with the terror attack. An alternative version also contained an image of Christopher Poole, the creator of website 4Chan.
Additionally, both of these images purporting to show someone missing at the concert are also fake.
My son was in Manchester Arena today, He’s not picking up my call! Please help me
One is a popular YouTuber with the channel TheReportOfTheWeek. He since uploaded a video saying he is alive and well and currently in the United States. The other is a photo from 2014 showing a young model posing for a clothing line for people with Downs Syndrome.
Again this tweet below asking for retweets for a “cousins girlfriend” called Olivia has also been confirmed to be fake and the poster is just looking for retweets.
Did Twitter handle owys663 predict the attack?
Screenshots of a Twitter user posting threatening messages towards the Manchester Arena hours before the attack are spreading.
This account has since been suspended, but the claim those posts were made before the attack are not confirmed. The date stamp on the tweets are in the American format (the month before the date) not in the UK format. If the posts were ‘screenshot’ – for example – in North America – it means they would have been posted around an hour after the explosion. We have a full write-up about this here.
50 children at a Holiday Inn?
The following message is being disseminated across Twitter –
0161 836 9600. Holiday Inn telephone number. 50+ unatended children taken there !
It’s not true. The Holiday Inn have denied taking in 50 unaccompanied children and users are advised to contact the police regarding inquiries about any missing children.
A goading Ariana Grande tweet?
A tweet from singer Ariana Grande – whose concert was where the bomb detonated – has gone viral that appears to make light of the incident.
This tweet from Ariana Grande is real, but it was from September 2011, and as such obviously has nothing to do with the Manchester attack.
Shooter outside Oldham hospital?
Moments after the blast, various tabloid papers reported that a man with a gun was spotted outside the Royal Oldham Hospital in Greater Manchester.
However those reports were based on unverified tweets and were later retracted. Authorities soon confirmed that the hospital was safe and no gunman was present.
As usual we recommend only spreading information that is verified and true. Sadly, this now appears to include social media pleas to finding missing children.