Get ready for the spread of Ebola hoaxes
Huffington Post - 10/16/2014
It’s not the first time people seeking attention have taken advantage of an unfolding crisis or tragedy to spread panic. After Sept. 11 and around its anniversary, bomb threats have led to numerous buildings being evacuated. This September, a Manhattan man was arrested for making 61 prank calls threatening a terrorist attack. People have screamed “I have AIDS!” after stabbing someone on a Greyhound bus and while robbing stores. And the shootings at Columbine and Virginia Tech were followed by hoax phone calls to schools that caused evacuations.
“The more widespread the tragedy, the more attention it gets in the press over a long period of time, the more likely it is that powerless individuals will see a way of establishing control in the worst kinds of ways,” said Jack Levin, a criminologist at Northeastern University and author of many books about violence.