Police concerned about xenophobia hoaxes on social media

2015-04-18 08:03
(Joe Stolley, News24)

(Joe Stolley, News24)

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Johannesburg - KwaZulu-Natal police urged people to stop sending unverified messages about xenophobic attacks on social media, after false messages created panic this week.

''We have noted with concern that there are still inflammatory rumours being spread on the social network inciting violence.

''False messages have been circulated that taxi or train loads of people are being transported to certain areas to attack foreign nationals.

''We call on people to act responsibly and refrain from fanning the flames of violence by resending unverified messages.''

Six people, including a 14-year-old boy, have been killed and 112 arrested since attacks escalated in KwaZulu-Natal last Friday.

Last weekend News24 verified a horrific video that was doing the rounds of a group of young men being necklaced and set alight and was being described as a xenophobic attack, was actually the necklacing of a group of men accused of killing a man after a bar fight.

Arrests followed that incident.

Among other tweets and posts this week were claims that two Malawians had their heads chopped off.

At the same time, Twitter users rounded on those they thought were making tasteless or offensive remarks about the violence.

Read more on:    police  |  xenophobia  |  social networks

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