27 Nov 2011 - Article No: 1441
Request for Dog Treats to be sent out to Afghanistan for Christmas - Facebook Rumour
Other Keywords: PTE Downer
Army dog handlers working in Afghanistan have a big drive on trying to get people to send dog treats out to them to give the dogs on Christmas Day.
One of the Soldiers is happy to have the parcels sent to him and he will distribute - it would be great if you could send a small parcel of treats (not dog food)
Keep parcels under 2 Kilos and they go FREE from any Post Office. The last posting date to arrive before Christmas is 30th November. Parcels to:
25178756 PTE Downer
OP Herrick 15
BFPO 792 “
Lets not forget the workin furkids on the frontline this crimbletide xxxxxx
It is unclear how this particular message got started, but what is clear is that this is not an official drive to get doggy treats to Afghanistan.
This may have turned into a small operation involving close friends and family that - due to the nature of social networking - inadvertantly became viral.
Contacting the BFPO (British Forces Postal Servce) has given us the following response, in part -
...it has been highlighted from a number of sources and we are working with Royal Mail to stem the flow [of the message] if possible
Once the personal address of an individual is released in this way it is very difficult to retract it and put a stop to it and individuals usually regret it afterwards.
Additionally the "Help for Heros" added this to their Facebook page -
It started with a soldier that sent the request to his parents and they passed it onto his friends who put it on the net and it went viral!..1) the postal system will be blocked with all parcels and 2) it is a security breech. Please be aware if you are contacted about this. Thank you :)
So even though the address may be real, it is not recommended to circulate this message. This is not an official drive for dog treats. Additionally worth noting is that the assertion that packages under 2 kilos go free are baseless.
Social media and the Internet is rife with rumour, misinformation, propaganda and untruth. It is like this because people can be irresponsible with what information they choose to share.
Our community works hard to try and debunk and assist in as many cases as possible, as well as teach people how to share responsibly. We believe it is important that anyone who uses the Internet be able to identify false rumours and fully understands the possible consequences of spreading false information.
If you interested in this, feel free to read our two-part blog. Part 1 deals with how to spot and debunk Internet rumours and Part 2 deals with the reasons why you should never circulate false information.
Additionally if you have fallen for this rumour or have Facebook friends that have, you can join our growing Facebook page here or sign up to our mailing list here.