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Social Media Terror Attack Message Was A Hoax

Social Media Pranksters Heighten Fear Amongst Commuters

A text message which warned of a London tube attack, that was circulated widely over the weekend, spread fear amongst many commuters making their way to work on Monday morning, but the Met police have confirmed that the message was nothing but a hoax.

The message warned of supposed inside intel, saying ‘a friend of my flatmate works for the Met and told her this. Don’t travel on the tubes tomorrow’. The unsavoury wind-up message also falsely claimed that ‘every single police officer in the Met has been called into work from 4am onwards’.

The police confirmed that the message is nothing but scare-mongering and has in fact been in circulation since Friday, before the weekend, meaning that any attack ‘tomorrow’ should have happened on Saturday. Still, the hoax succeeded in troubling many travelling into or through London this morning as commuters waited nervously at platforms.

Tweets were sent suggesting that a terror attack would happen ‘around the West End’ of London, following Theresa May’s announcement on Friday that the UK terror threat has been raised to severe for the first time in three years. Although this means on paper that an attack on the country is ‘highly likely’, May and the Met Police said that there was no evidence of any imminent danger.

A spokesperson at the Met said that the text message was a ‘definite hoax’, and Chief Superintendent Paul Brognal of the British Transport Police tweeted to reassure Londoners that ‘these rumours are not uncommon. The only thing that gives them any credence is people re-tweeting them and circulating them’.

The message went viral across social media and SMS, and coincides with President Obama’s recent speech on how social media magnifies the dangers of a ‘messy’ world.

Obama said that the dangers and threatening militant activities that are worrying so many Americans and Westerners have always been there, it’s just that now with the advent of globalised and immediate social media networks these threats are exacerbated tenfold and ignite premature pubic concern.

Certainly, threats seem more imminent and pressing when they can so easily be plastered over social media and viewed so immediately on mobile and laptop screens, but it may help to calm public hysteria to remember that often these threats are amplified by social media as opposed to fact.

Katie Rowley

Recent graduate and now interning as content editor, when she's not writing articles Katie can quite likely be found festival-ing, holiday-ing or reading a book (dedicated English student that she is). Follow her @KatieAtSMF.

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Social Media Terror Attack Message Was A Hoax Reviewed by Anonymous on Thursday, September 04, 2014 Rating: 5
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