From around 8pm last night rumours surfaced on Twitter and Facebook of rioting in Wrexham, these turned out to be unfounded. Wrexham.com reporters and sources were eyewitness to the intense quiteness in Wrexham last night, while at the same time people on social networks posted up the opposite claiming that trouble had started. These rumours continued throughout the night sourced from twitter, facebook, blackberry messenger and text messages.
It is unsure the reasons why people would make up and then distribute such rumours, however the police are taking a serious line against those who do. We are aware of warnings being given, and where a tweet or status update is seen to ‘incite’ there have even been arrests and charges brought. This police action has not only taken place around the country (13 people at last count) but locally as someone from Chester was arrested for their online activity relating to riots.
Examples of some of the untrue tweets and rumours being posted last night include:
“@xxxxxx apparently they’ve broke into st joesephs?”
“@xxxxxx Apparently the rioting has kicked off in Wrexham now! This is getting out of hand!!!!”
“@xxxxxx Chopper is out over Wrexham and all taxi stations closed!”
“@xxxxxx Boots has had its windows smashed”
“@xxxxxx eagles meadow car park on fire – any truth ?”
Sadly it seems many tweeters do not understand that more than ever people are turning to search engines and social media to find out their local news and therefore their own ‘personal’ updates can be read by many hundreds of people.
A couple of people asked ‘whats the harm in rumours’? We were monitoring twitter last night and saw quite a few worried people concerned about friends and family due to ‘what they had heard’, if that is not enough to stop people from scaremongering, the police monitoring and direct action against social media users may!
No doubt tonight will follow the same pattern, so we here at Wrexham.com would urge readers to:
- Not spread rumours.
- Ask people for their source, and if its not backed up or ‘a mate’ texting, dont repeat it.
- If you can, post up when things are quiet. People can use that as first hand witness accounts that nothing is going on!
- Take a picture as proof like Lyndsey did, as that did alot to quell fears.
- Paste up a link to this article in response if people persist.
Stay safe, and act responsibly online!