False threats prove to be harmful to communities


America has seen a number of mass shootings in 2019, such as the three recent ones in Odessa, Midland and El Paso, which are all located in Texas. Normally, after a shooting, threats of another shooting arise in many communities across America.

Many posts are shared on social media about people allegedly knowing of an attack that could happen in stores like Walmart or in local schools.

However, these threats are typically proven to be false, and there is no actual danger to the community.

Hays saw an incident like this on Aug. 17. There were multiple social media posts that listed businesses in Hays as potential targets for shootings.

However, the Hays Police Department looked into the posts and found no indication of an actual threat to the businesses, proving the posts to be false.

The creation of these false posts caused concern among the Hays community. Some residents disregarded the posts as a cruel prank, while others were too afraid even to go near the listed businesses.

Before we share posts like these on our social media platforms, we must first check where they came from and ask ourselves why and how the post got to where it is now.

While it is important to know of actual shooting threats, sharing ones that we have no idea whether they are credible or not can cause harm to businesses, especially to non-chain businesses. When a false threat is made against a store, the business could decrease dramatically.

To avoid this, check any post you find on social media before reposting it. Even if it could be real, ask yourself why somebody would post this threat to social media first before contacting the police.

Think: “Is this threat coming from a source that I trust?”