On Sunday, another horrific tragedy struck the nation as a man dressed in black tactical gear and armed with an AR-51 assault rifle, attacked a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, killing 26 people and wounding 20 more. It is now known as the deadliest mass shooting in Texas history.
But as usual, although this is an unthinkable tragedy, internet trolls and pranksters were at it again and began spreading fake news and information about the shooter and the victims of the mass shooting. Don’t fall for them!
Here are some of the hoaxes and rumors you need to look out for:
Google search fake news
Google’s featured search results were also a source of fake news about the Texas shooting. Searches for the shooter’s name yielded inaccurate “Popular on Twitter” results above the regular results section. One of the fake tweets that were highlighted was about the shooter’s supposed anti-fascist left leanings.
Sam Hyde is not a suspect
Congressman Vicente Gonzales also erroneously named comedian Sam Hyde as a possible suspect on CNN. Unknown to him, internet trolls have always jokingly blamed Sam Hyde for mass killings for the last two years.
Celebrity death rumors
Please be careful in looking at news and reports out of Sutherland Springs, Texas. Hoaxes have already popped up. pic.twitter.com/M67qcJSh2U
— NowThis Newsroom (@newsroom) November 5, 2017
Another hoax that’s making the rounds is about a YouTube fast food vlogger and critic named Reviewbrah. Ever since the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing, fake news about Reviewbrah as a victim always resurfaces. If you can recall, he was also rumored to be a victim of last month’s Las Vegas mass shooting.
Note: The gunman has been identified by the authorities as Devin Patrick Kelley of New Braunfels, Texas.
Think twice before resharing news
Similar to the fake news that spread around during last month’s Las Vegas tragedy, too many people are resharing rumors quickly without doing prior research.
To prevent fake rumors and misinformation from spreading, especially after acts of terrorism and mass shootings, it is vital that we actually take our time to read the information first and find other credible sources that support it.
Test: Can you spot a fake viral video?
In a world where photos and videos can be altered, it’s easy to be duped by false representations of the truth. So how can you tell if you are looking at the real deal?