The horrific incidents in Sandy Hook have caused a slew of online hoaxes to circulate social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter highlighting the fact that many social networkers still don’t verify news stories from reputable sources.
Despite social networking rumours continuing to become more prolific, a substantial number of social networking users still adamantly refuse to verify stories online before spreading them on the Internet. This has been further emphasised by a number of different hoaxes that have circulated about the massacre at Sandy Hook.
Many of the rumours have become so popular they have even prompted the police in charge of the investigation to urge people not to trust information they encounter on social networking sites.
Many popular rumours that have spread across websites have included purported messages left from the deceased shooter Adam Lanza.
Various Twitter users sharing the names of people involved have also seen a sudden surge in followers following rumours that have falsely identified them as the actual people involved.
One of the most popular rumours that is still circulating virally is an apparent message from Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman (who is still alive) discussing how killers such as Adam Lanza are made notorious and famous by the mainstream media. However that rumour is unconfirmed and almost certainly false. We have details on that specific rumour here.
Sadly and inevitably the tragedy has also sparked plenty of sick Facebook pages to be set up mocking the victims bringing up more first amendment issues between what constitutes freedom of speech and what goes too far. However in response to these sick pages we recommend reading our article on how best to deal with Internet trolls.
However, once again we find ourselves reminding people that social networking rumours should not be circulated and you should always verify information you see on the Internet instead of blindly spreading it to your friends. Always verify information with reputable news services and remember that in on-going active cases like Sandy Hook, much of the information – even when reading from reputable websites – may be unconfirmed and subject to change, which should be noted on the site.