Brits are doing anything they can to help following another terror attack on the UK last night.
People kindly offered to open their houses to those trapped in the capital after three men mowed down pedestrians on London Bridge before stabbing people with 12-inch knives in nearby Borough Market.
But, as has become the frightening norm in the wake of recent terror attacks in this country, sick trolls have targeted well-meaning Brits on social media.
People immediately started sharing photos – which weren’t theirs to share – of people they didn’t know, claiming their ‘relatives’ were missing in London during the attacks.
One person tweeted a picture of a young boy with the caption: “My brother was on London Bridge and won’t call back. I am terrified. I heard tires squealing and screaming!! This is him! Please help!!”
— Blink (@PedicalEtho) June 3, 2017
The young man is an old picture of 14-year-old American rapper, Matty B.
People immediately recognised him and called out the troll for posting a fake image and appealing for retweets.
Some fell for it – as they had no reason to doubt the validity of the claim – and the image was shared more than 800 times.
Those who recognised the rapper or found his image by doing a Google reverse search called the Twitter user “sick” and “disgusting”, telling them “this isn’t something to joke about.”
Someone running another Twitter account – which has a photograph of Hitler and the Nazis as its cover photo – claimed their boyfriend was missing in the attack.
The photograph they tweeted, of a young man with his face resting on his hand, was retweeted more than 900 times.
Well-meaning social media users started replying telling them that the phone lines were probably busy.
Other, more savvy, tech users, pointed out that the man in the picture was actually Paul Joseph Watson, who goes by the Twitter username @PrisonPlanet.
One man who had retweeted it trying to be helpful was later told it was fake and said he hadn’t realised someone could “be so stupid”.
— Lilo (@Emothian) June 3, 2017
Another person shared three photos of someone they claimed was their ‘brother Charles’.
They said he “was talkin (sic) to me before #LondonBridge I heard screams + wont pick up. Hes got aspergers. Please look out for him!”
The tweet was shared more than 2,000 times. People quickly accused the Twitter user of sharing a fake tweet and took a screengrab of a similar appeal he made a few weeks ago during anThe screen grabs appear to have been taken from videos entitled ‘Chuck Shriek’ on YouTube.
Always check replies to tweets as other social media users will often alert you if they are fake.
If you are in doubt over the validity of missing people claims on social media, please don’t share them.
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