August 20, 2012

Fake Texts Causes Mass Panic in India

India is accusing Pakistan of orchestrating mass panic among migrants who fled Muslim/Hindu - Muslim/not-the-right-kind-of-Muslim conflicts. Apparently mass texts were sent around showing images of dead bodies claiming that Muslim were going to kill the immigrants for (insert grievance of the day here). and although the entire thing was a hoax, apparently people took the threat seriously enough that it caused mass panic and migration:

A day earlier the ministry's second-ranking official said doctored images of bodies had been messaged to thousands of migrants from India's north-east living in big cities further south, including Chennai, Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore.

Authorities said misleading text messages and other social media began circulating last week with warnings that Muslims would attack students and migrants from the north-east.

Tens of thousands of people hurriedly boarded overcrowded trains to return to their home region as Indian leaders pleaded for calm and the government banned bulk mobile texting.

Those fleeing feared reprisals stemming from ethnic clashes in the north-eastern state of Assam in the past few months, which have killed 77 people and displaced more than 400,000

Thanks to Howie's prostate for the tip.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:09 PM | Comments |