October 28, 2013 by ag5454
It is amazing to think how one radio broadcast could fool the world into thinking they were being invaded. At a time when fact checking wasn’t as easy as it is today, it is feasible to believe the population would take a broadcast for what it was worth. The question is could this be done today? Although, you might say the answer is no, I believe it could.
I am reminded of a time in 2011, after the Virgina Tech shooting and a number of other college campus attacks and at a time where college campuses were taking more precaution to protect their students. My sisters attended East Carolina University, and I was on Facebook and saw someone’s post about a potential shooter on ECU’s campus. I immediately called my sisters to ask about it, they were under lock down the entire campus had been shut down due to this potential shooter. Facebook was on fire with all these post about ECU’s campus being under attack. One post after another each contradicting the other. What was really going on? No one really knew . Then ECU released a traffic camera photo of the potential suspect and the search continued for this potential shooter.
After a full day of worry and campus shut down it was determined that there is no threat to the students and they are allowed to go about their day. So what happened to this potential shooter? It turns out the guy who they thought was carrying a deadly weapon was only carrying an umbrella but due to Facebook and rumors running ramped about people seeing the shooter allowed for this to go on for a full day.
In the heat of the moment most citizens are not going to fact check, and where would they? This is a prime example of how the population relies on media and more specifically reporters to let us know whats going on. We need smart and timely reporters to break the story and discredit the rumors that spread so quickly.