Montgomery Police Address Social Media Rumors
Why you shouldn’t believe everything you read on social media – sometimes wrong information can cause unnecessary widespread panic. It’s happened a few times in the Montgomery area.
One of the most popular of those rumors is about a mysterious white van used to abduct children. This week Montgomery Police is addressing the rumor and making it clear for people not to believe everything they see on social media.
The rumor was stopped in its tracks by a statement from Montgomery Police confirming there were no reports of child abduction.
“We’re glad people are out there being vigilant, looking for things like this but we don’t want them to believe everything they read on social media,” says Capt. Regina Duckett.
Montgomery resident Beth Smith says she sees all too often people taking everything word for word online.
“Because they think that they are their friends because nowadays most of your friends are online – on social media and they don’t have that personal connection so they just believe everything they read and hear,” says Smith.
Sgt. David Hicks is Montgomery Police Department’s social media coordinator. He says inaccurate information being shared on social media platforms is nothing new.
“We see the trends that are going on. We try to address those trends so if we see information that we see is being assimilated that may not be accurate we like to get on top of that and make sure we share the accurate information,” says Hicks.
Instead of taking to social media when something looks suspicious, officers want people to report it directly to the department.
“Especially if MPD puts out a statement, make sure you share it and so everybody can be alert. In today’s world social media is the main thing so that’s the thing share through all your social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter,” says Montgomery resident Franklin Rush.
Officers say it only takes one post or one word in the post that could cause alarm. However, it is always important to be vigilant.
“Especially as parents we have to make sure we keep a good eye on our children that’s the most important thing. Because like I said it can happen anywhere,” says Rush.
Officers tell me they do get information from people on the department’s Facebook page. Officers say they always look into matters and update people with the most verified info they have.
Montgomery police say if you do see criminal activity or something suspicious, you should always call 911 or (334) 625-2651.