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Murder hoax makes the rounds on St. Albert social media

By: Stu Salkeld

  |  Posted: Saturday, Mar 01, 2014 07:45 pm

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Much is made about the effects that social media, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, have on connecting people and making information readily available, in some cases almost instantly. Sometimes that availability can be abused.

Some St. Albert residents were concerned Saturday when Instagram was afire with rumors of a murder or accidental death which was said to have happened during a fistfight between two local 13 year old boys.

A concerned citizen contacted The St. Albert Gazette late Saturday with some details, and concerns over such a young person being the victim of a murder. Well, they weren’t.

According to St. Albert RCMP, the entire thing was a social media hoax as there was no murder in the city over the weekend. “I believe it was stuff on social media, but it’s not correct,” said a spokesperson at the St. Albert RCMP detachment Saturday evening, who asked not to be identified.

The spokesperson said he wasn’t sure if it was supposed to be a joke or may have just been a teenage attempt to get attention. The only thing that is certain is that no death was involved.

The false information provided to the St. Albert Gazette noted a fistfight had occurred between two 13 year old boys who live in St. Albert, and one of them died in the fight.

The RCMP spokesman said no charges are being looked at at this time. “The police point of view is we’re concerned if it actually happened,” he said. The spokesman said no one was trying to profit or get gain from the hoax, although police do treat situations like this one seriously.

He said social media hoaxes may seem harmless but can take off on a life of their own very quickly.


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