A Facebook rumor about white vans is spreading fear across America


Olde Hornet

Well-Known Member
When are people going to stop believe everything they read on Facebook?

A Facebook rumor about white vans is spreading fear across America


New York (CNN)Terrifying rumors initially propelled by Facebook's algorithms have sparked fears that men driving white vans are kidnapping women all across the United States for sex trafficking and to sell their body parts. While there is no evidence to suggest this is happening, much less on a national, coordinated scale, a series of viral Facebook (FB) posts created a domino effect that led to the mayor of a major American city issuing a warning based on the unsubstantiated claims.
The latest online-induced panic shows how viral Facebook posts can stoke paranoia and make people believe that spotting something as common as a white van, can be deemed suspicious and connected to a nationwide cabal.
"Don't park near a white van," Baltimore Mayor Bernard "Jack" Young said in a TV interview on Monday. "Make sure you keep your cellphone in case somebody tries to abduct you."

The mayor said he had not been told of the apparent threat by Baltimore Police but said it was "all over Facebook."

Matthew Jablow, a spokesperson for the Baltimore Police Department, told CNN Business on Tuesday that while the department is aware of posts on social media it had not received "any reports of actual incidents."
 

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