Watch what you share: Fake crime posts in Ky. communities making rounds on social media
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - There’s a concerning trend going around in several Kentucky communities. Posts on social media about fake crimes are spreading fake information.
Posts warning people to watch for criminals in their communities have been spreading on Facebook. Towns like Berea and Frankfort have seen a number of these posts shared in the last week alone.
“We received a few messages and when you get one it doesn’t really draw a lot of attention, but we were getting posts over and over,” Chief Dustin Bowman with the Frankfort Police Department said.
Many Facebook users share these posts without realizing the information in them is false.
“I think we should all, as responsible Facebook and other social media users, click a couple more times to learn where it comes from,” said Kakie Urch, an associate professor of multimedia at the University of Kentucky.
WKYT did some research of our own and in moments we were able to find the same posts shared across the country, and the real stories behind the photos being shared.
In one of the posts, the two men people claimed were on a “killing spree” in Frankfort, Berea, and other cities were actually arrested in Arizona for a homicide case in North Dakota.
One woman was accused of pretending to be a nurse and stealing a baby from a hospital in Frankfort and dozens of other cities. She actually is from a 2016 case in the Philippines.
Experts said it’s important to remember you can’t trust everything you read online.
“Even if it’s your grandma you want to say it, but sometimes grandma might share something that’s not real. But if you go to the source and it’s a handsome man who has one other follower and a generic name pushed together, that is probably a bot created by someone in another country to push misinformation,” Urch said.
When in doubt, reach out to local law enforcement.
“We do not mind having that interaction, just to help explain if it reduces any type of alarm or reduces any type of negative response that you don’t want to see come out of this,” Chief Bowman said.
Again, experts suggest making sure you know what you’re sharing.
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