Hoaxes Run Amok On Social Media As Hurricane Florence Moves Inland

Hoaxes Run Amok On Social Media As Hurricane Florence Moves Inland

Hurricane Florence has begun her slow, water-logged move inland. As communities in her path face an onslaught of rain and rising floodwaters, they’re also contending with a distinctly different problem: disinformation and outright hoaxes, often spread via social media. Numerous hoaxes, shark and race-based ones in particular, seem to be repeated with every hurricane. Also, check the information against fake stories that went viral during previous storms. Storyful has a list of them from Hurricane Irma, and the Houston Chronicle has a roundup about hoaxes that went viral during Hurricane Harvey. FEMA also has a rumor control website from Hurricane Harvey. If it involves a shark in any capacity, you can almost assuredly ignore it. Like this, for instance: Believe it or not, this is a shark on the freeway in New Bern, North Carolina. As if people along the mid-Atlantic coast didn’t have enough to worry about already ...https://t.co/HHyWdu2osF — snopes.com (@snopes) September 11, 2018 If you’re wondering what sort of gullible idiot believes these types of stories and passes them along as fact, the answer is Rush Limbaugh, who did just that on his show earlier this week. “So, those of you in the target path in North Carolina, South Carolina: In addition to the pig manure, in addition to the slop, in addition to the floods, in addition to the cars rolling around on the waters in front of your house, in addition to the mudslides and the landslides, now you might end up with a shark in your front yard,” he warned listeners on Monday.

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Hurricane Florence has begun her slow, water-logged move inland. As communities in her path face an onslaught of rain and rising floodwaters, they’re also contending with a distinctly different problem: disinformation and outright hoaxes, often spread via social media.

Numerous hoaxes, shark and race-based ones in particular, seem to be repeated with every hurricane.

When in doubt ― and if you found it on social media or a news site you’ve never heard of, always be in doubt ― check the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Hurricane Florence rumor control website.

Also, check the information against fake stories that went viral during previous storms. Storyful has a list of them from Hurricane Irma, and the Houston Chronicle has a roundup about hoaxes that went viral during Hurricane Harvey. FEMA also has a rumor control website from Hurricane Harvey.

If it involves a shark in any capacity, you can almost assuredly ignore it. Like this, for instance:

Believe it or not, this is a shark on the freeway in New Bern, North Carolina. #HurricaneFlorence

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