Amid the confusion that followed the devastating terrorist suicide bombing attack in Manchester, England, opportunists used social media to create fake stories about those responsible for the deadly blast. As reported by the Inquisitr, screenshots of a Twitter user at the handle Owys663 were passed around, along with claims that the Twitter user predicted the explosion at Manchester Arena before the blast after the Ariana Grande was done. However, those claims that the now-deleted Twitter account of Owys663 was somehow related to the explosion that Greater Manchester Police say killed 22 people and injured 59 others are being debunked on Tuesday, May 23.
As reported by the Telegraph, the suspended Twitter account @Owys663 had allegedly warned about the Manchester blast before it happened, and had — at least according to some Twitter users — published the following message at 6:32 p.m.
“#ISLAMICSTATE, #manchesterarena, #UK #British ARE YOU FORGET OUR THREAT? THIS IS JUST THE TERROR”
However, the publication noted that those screenshots claiming to come from the @Owys663 Twitter account show the date displayed in the U.S. date format, wherein the month appears first. Therefore, that means the tweet was published at a U.K. time of 11:32 p.m. or later, and one person who responded to the tweet, as seen below, says the tweet came after the explosion.
@zzziltoid @Mopsmaster @ChelseyNVOXO @khalila_ @talktothemetz @owys663 He had tweeted right after the attack. Cant remember exactly what was said but seemed very innaproprite. Acc was blocked shortly after
— The prophet (@Hwg10iarcfc) May 23, 2017
The Twitter handle owys663 is still getting lots of attention on Twitter, however, with screenshots showing varying photos.
Manchester Suicide Bomber’s Name Hoaxes, ISIS Claims: Photos, Videos From Manchester Arena Explosion [Graphic] https://t.co/JsQ6X5upwH
— Inquisitr News (@theinquisitr) May 23, 2017
Twitter isn’t the only social media platform dealing with fake news reports and screenshots created in the wake of the Manchester bombing blast. Whereas Twitter is full of Photoshop-enhanced images of the notorious “Sam Hyde” being blamed for the latest terrorist attack, Facebook is dealing with its own share of what Facebook called “false news” instead of “fake news” reports.
As reported by the Independent, Facebook has flagged particular reports as false news, stopping short of calling reports “fake news,” likely because some people may not realize they are sharing reports that are hoaxes. Also, since President Donald Trump has a penchant for the term “fake news,” Facebook is likely distinguishing itself from using that term.
In spite of the fake screenshots blaming ISIS for the terrorist attacking in Manchester, according to the Associated Press, ISIS has taken credit for the concert bombing, and there are children among the 22 people dead. The youngest was an 8-year-old girl.
@owys663 According to my best guess creation of account was 1 minute after blast, posting 2 minutes.
— ʜᴇɴᴋ ᴠᴀɴ ᴇss (@henkvaness) May 23, 2017
— Andrea Noel ϟ (@metabolizedjunk) May 23, 2017
Fake Photos of People Not Missing Also Appear After Blast at Manchester Arena Pop Concert
Along with the fake news reports about the terrorist attack in Manchester, certain fake photos of supposedly missing people are being circulated along with real photos of missing people. As seen in the above Twitter post, Andrea Noel debunked the notion that she was missing in the wake of the Grande concert.
— caroline???? (@actlikeyouluv) May 23, 2017
To distinguish the real missing people from the fake news about missing people, folks are encouraged to follow valid news stories like the video below from CBS This Morning. In the video interview, Charlotte Campbell expressed her dismay at the thought of her missing daughter, Olivia.
Charlotte spoke of not knowing whether or not Olivia was alive or dead, or in a hospital somewhere, unable to tell emergency medical personnel that Campbell is her mother.
On Twitter, topics like #ManchesterBombing and ISIS are trending, along with montages of photos that some people claim are missing people. With pleas to retweet the photos, some of those photo montages likely feature real missing people, whereas others are horribly sick jokes designed by people most likely wanting to see how many retweets they can gain and how much attention can be brought to fake news reports.
[Featured Image by Dave Thompson/Getty Images]