Connecticut School Shooting Plagued By Hoaxes on Facebook, Twitter

On December 14, 2012, the Sandy Hook Elementary School in the quiet village of Sandy hook in Newton, Connecticut was shattered when a gunman mindlessly open fired and took the lives of 20 children aged between 6 and 7 and 6 adults.  The gunman, Adam Lanza, had access to the guns he used for the shooting via his own mother, Nancy Lanza, whom he killed before going on a rampage and finally taking his own life.

This incident is already heartbreaking, but that didn’t stop people from spreading false information about the tragedy.  Some were giving out false information about the gunman, his connection to the school, his mother’s connection to the school, and some even posted updates on social media sites impersonating the gunman.

The authorities have already warned us against misleading information coming from social media outlets, and to rely on news coming from only them.

“All information relative to this case is coming from these microphones and any information coming from other sources cannot be confirmed and, in many cases, it has been found as inaccurate,” Lieutenant Paul Vance of Connecticut State Police said.

“There have been indications that there have been quotes by people who are posing as the shooter,” he added. “Anyone perpetrating that information, could, in fact, be subject to arrest and be prosecuted federally.”

Another hoax spreading in the social media scene is a statement allegedly made by actor Morgan Freeman about the shooting.  Freeman’s alleged statement said that the media was to be blamed for all the mindless killings happening around us, because the media treats the assailants as celebrities and forgetting to focus on the victims.  The statement also pointed out that these incidents are being treated as something to be topped, and the media wants people to kill more people in order to get more famous.

It was later found out that the post was originally made by a certain “Mark” from Vancouver who later commented on his post that his statement would go viral if it was attributed to someone famous, such as Morgan Freeman or Betty White.  And viral it went.

Remembering those lost

Charlotte Bacon – 6, Olivia Engel – 6, Dylan Hockley – 6, Jesse Lewis – 6, Ana Marquez-Greene – 6, Emilie Parker – 6, Noah Pozner – 6, Jessica Rekos – 6, Madeleine Hsu – 6, Catherine Hubbard – 6, James Mattioli – 6; Jack Pinto – 6, Caroline Previdi – 6, Avielle Richman – 6, Benjamin Wheeler – 6, Allison Wyatt – 6, Grace McDonnell – 7, Daniel Barden – 7, Josephine Gay – 7, Chase Kowalski – 7,  Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung – 47, Mary Sherlach – 56, Victoria Soto – 27,  Lauren Rousseau – 30, Anne Marie Murphy – 52, Rachel D’Avino – 29, and Nancy Lanza – 52 — These are all the victims of Adam Lanza, who up to now, authorities are baffled as to why he targeted this school.  Click here to read CNN’s tribute for the victims of this shooting.

Is this really an issue of gun control?  An issue of media sensationalism?  Or is this a wake-up call for people to start paying attention to the people around them in order to notice that some of them are actually crying out for help?

To all the families and friends of all the victims, we here at SiliconANGLE send our deepest and sincerest condolences.  Life is full of uncertainties and now is not the time for blaming but addressing the issue at hand that there is something wrong in our society.

About Mellisa Tolentino

Mellisa is a staff writer for SiliconAngle, covering social and mobile news. She is fascinated by technology and loves imparting what she learns through her journey as a writer. Got a news story or tip? Send it to mellisa@siliconangle.com