The so-called Louisville purge was supposed to have begun at 8 PM EST and will stretch on into the morning at 6:30 AM. The vast majority of people assumed it was all one big hoax intended as a joke, but now some on social media are claiming local reports have seen some instances of people wearing purge masks and even threats by gangs.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, the idea behind a real life purge started when a photo using the description “Louisville’s the Purge” spread like wildfire on Facebook and Twitter. Rumors even began claiming that a Detroit purge may be in the works in addition to a Louisville purge. A spokesman for the Louisville Metro Police Department claimed they were taking the possibility of a Louisville purge very seriously.
Before we begin listing what is being claimed on social media, it should be noted that the student who started the Louisville purge rumor did not intend on starting a panic. It should also be pointed out that police will be watching social media for anyone who reports or makes threats about the supposed real life purge. Making a false claim about a crime occurring in the city could be likened to the famous example of falsely shouting “fire” in a crowded theater. Encouraging fears and panic by tweeting rumors or falsehoods is not funny.
Even if the Louisville purge started as a joke, at least two individuals took the idea way too seriously according to this Twitter tweet:
Louisville Police shutting down Iroquois Park at 9PM. Report of 2 black males sighted w/ purge masks on.
— Central Ky Scanner (@kyscanner) August 16, 2014
At least one person claims to have “listened” to this actual police report locally:
Listening to the police scanner & they found 2 males with the purge masks at the park. Time to get out Louisville! Bai! #votearianagrande
— (@ArianatorPalace) August 16, 2014
This same person also claims to have heard reports about other crimes:
Ice cream man assaulted, home invasion, now teens with masks and knives making threats, Louisville purge. Fml.
— (@ArianatorPalace) August 16, 2014
There’s even reports over shootings related to the Louisville purge:
IM LISTENING TO THE LOUISVILLE POLICE SCAN AND THEY SAID THERE WAS A VAN AND A GUY WAVING A GUY OUT THE WINDOW SHOOTING AT PEOPLE THE PURGE
— danielle (@assreguii) August 16, 2014
Another Twitter user claims a man is roaming around threatening to chop off people’s fingers. When the person was asked if these were just rumors, she replied that it was “real” and like other Twitter users, claimed she’d heard others stores from “a police news radio thing for Louisville.” Others dismissed the claim, saying it was “fairly normal for a Friday” and others blamed it on “drunken brawls all over the country tonight.”
hey everyone stay safe, it’s not a joke, there is police reports of murder & attempted kidnapping #LouisvillePurge
— maddie • 9 days (@wickedlukey) August 16, 2014
There’s also reports of car accidents related to the supposed real life purge, and it’s said gangs are in the streets:
IF YOU LIVE IN LOUISVILLE this “purge” is starting STAY INSIDE people are getting run off highways and gangs are at the Dixie hw area
— maddie | 354 (@cashturbxte) August 15, 2014
The possibility that a real life purge could be started by an internet rumor has some people claiming the movie industry should be more responsible:
the fact that there’s supposed to be a purge in Louisville tonight is the reason why movies like the purge shouldn’t be made
— shannan|aug. 14): (@louisest91) August 15, 2014
At least one man makes the good point that reports of crime tonight may have nothing to do with the purge hoax:
OH NO THERES CRIME IN LOUISVILLE TONIGHT. IT MUST BE THE PURGE BECAUSE CRIME DOESNT EXIST IN LOUISVILLE EVER. – everyone’s logic right now
— Damon (@Damon_UofL) August 16, 2014
As of this writing, none of the claims about the so-called Louisville purge have been substantiated by police or public reports.