Jan 5, 2017

FAKE 'missing child alert' goes viral on Facebook

Recently, residents of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania were duped when they fell for a hoax on social media, which involved the fake disappearance of a child. With good intentions, these people reacted as anyone should when notified about the possibility of a missing child: They shared the hell out of the posts, in hopes of locating the lad or getting his face out in the public view. However, the child in this latest viral Facebook campaign wasn't ever missing. 

Fake news has been getting a lot of attention on social media these days, especially with the belief that satire news articles played a role in the election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States. However, fake posts involving crime stories (including missing people) pass through social media feeds every day. While it's a headache that this particular post went viral among residents of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, it's absolutely fortunate that this child is not indeed missing.

It takes a special kind of person to exploit the concept of a missing child in order to troll people on social media, but as long as the means exist, these people will continue finding ways to play "practical jokes" on those who have good intentions. Hopefully the rest of us don't let these trolls affect how we broadcast and alert others to the real dangers of missing children. For every single "fake" missing child alert, there are far more legitimately missing kids that need our attention.
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