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Verify messages to avoid panic and chaos

Mid-Day logo Mid-Day 2 days ago The Editorial
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An extensive report in this paper cited rumours swirling around about children being abducted at certain spots in the city, across the suburbs especially. The rumours, many of them extremely alarming, were swirling around on social media.

Those that forwarded these posts may have had good intentions, for many of them were cautionary, telling parents to beware of this so-called spate of kidnappings. Yet, this has sparked panic with police receiving calls from scared parents. A residential society even circulated an internal communication stating two children are missing from the premises. Yet, cops have not found any evidence.

Then, there were rumours about children going missing from outside a school. Police claim there are no such gangs operating right now. The report states that locals, in a frenzy, have caught and beaten up a few people who they suspect of being kidnappers. This is absolutely not on. People are not supposed to take the law into their own hands. And, these targets who were suspected and beaten up were not guilty of any kidnapping.

Also read: Mumbai: ‘Missing’ kids circular sparks panic in Kurla

It is highly dangerous, reprehensible and criminal to assault persons on the roads, if you suspect them of wrongdoing. There is a police force and certainly you need to ask for their help if there is something you wish to address.

This also proves just how important it is to think before you simply forward or post messages. Authorities across have requested people not to fuel speculation because the fallouts have been large and gruesome in other cases.

In the end, always educate your children about how to stay safe, be wary of strangers. Teach them how to approach a teacher or a parent for help if they think something is amiss. These lessons stand in good stead at all times, so it is vital they are disseminated. However, always verify to avoid panic and chaos.

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