24 Apr 2012 - Article No: 1544

31 US Troops Die in Afghanistan Yesterday Facebook Message - Internet/Facebook Rumour

Filed under: General | Internet/Facebook Rumour



Claim:
Messages (below) are circulating Facebook claiming that 31 US troops were killed "yesterday".

Examples:


R.I.P. To the 31 US Troops who were killed in Afghanistan yesterday. I bet no one cares enough to re post this to show some respect. This is the real reason for flags at half staff! I have only seen this posted one time; if it was a celebrity it would be plastered all over Facebook. What a shame! I reposted out of respect to the fallen heroes

collected April 2012


collected July 2013

Details:

The message is likely referring to a tragedy that occured on August 5th 2011 where 31 US troops and 7 Afghan commandos were killed when their Chinook helicopter was attacked.
Whilst Facebook users are perfectly entitled to remember and pray for those fallen soldiers, messages like the one above should not be circulated simply because they only cause confusion. The message vaguely attributes the disaster to "yesterday" and since viral Facebook messages like this can continue to circulate for months, even years, they become outdated instantly, and mislead Facebook users into thinking it is describing a recent event when this is not the case.

Additionally sharing the silly assertion made in the message that reads "I bet no one cares enough to re post this to show some respect" is not advised since it makes the silly assumption that implies those who do not share the message do not respect those fallen US troops, which is obviously not true.

Passing on inaccurate information like this message is not an effective way to remember and commemorate those fallen US troops and thus this message should not be reposted.

Perhaps a more accurate and well meaning message may read -

RIP to the 31 US troops and 7 Afghan commandos that were killed during the August 2011 Chinook attack in Afghanistan. I am making this my status to show my respect for our fallen heroes. You are more than welcome to do the same.





The Internet, and social networking sites like Facebook, are perfect platforms for spreading untruths, misinformation, rumor and propaganda. Thousands of inaccurate, exaggerated, deceptive or just plain false messages are circulated every single day.

For the anti-scam community to successfully tackle this plethora of false rumours, 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.

We have a two part blog post that helps provide this information. 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.

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