Popular pub The Globe was forced to close after malicious e-rumours spread across Facebook accusing the pub of banning military personnel.
Anyone who follows our site will be more than aware of our attempts to educate and implore users to share responsibly on social media sites like Facebook, because the repercussions of not doing so can be very real and dangerous in the offline world. In fact one of our most popular blog posts talks about the dangers of “trial by Facebook” and posting unverified rumours.
And the recent closure of The Globe pub in Leicester highlights just how dangerous cyber gossiping can be as the pub was inundated with abusive phone calls and social media messages accusing them of banning military personnel from their establishment, despite those claims being entirely false. All because of a viral rumour.
Hoax-Slayer reports that the rumour began after the Facebook Page was compromised after a post mentioning the non-existent ban was made. Despite the post being removed a reprehensible blog called The Daily Bale decided to post the story along with various other unfounded and baseless claims asserting the Globe had indeed started a military ban.
A Facebook message (below) then began to circulate linking to the Daily Bale that also claimed the owners of the pub decided to enforce the ban because they didn’t want to offend religious minorities (a trending theme when it comes to stirring up racial propaganda) and also came attached with a completely unrelated photo showing the owners of an entirely different pub completely separate to the Globe. Ultimately The Globe had to shut down temporarily until security staff could arrive to ensure the safety of staff who had to field a number of abusive and threatening calls.
Of course there will always be unacceptable and disgusting people like those who authored the Daily Bale website and who created these rumours, but the reason this became such a dangerous issue for the pub was because again there are a substantial number of Facebook users who circulated unverified information to their friends which helped the false rumour reach a wider audience. Additionally there were also others who felt the need to post messages or call the pub in a threatening manner, all because of an unverified rumour.
The incident once again calls for Internet users to be especially careful with what information they share and believe, especially on social networking sites like Facebook. Passing on such nonsense can cause real world and potentially dangerous consequences, just like they did in this case.