Fake news hurting!

Fake news hurting!

Security minister urges rumour mongerers to stop it

BY KARL ANGELL Executive Editor Operations angellk@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, February 12, 2017

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National Security Minister Robert Montague moved last night to scotch rumours, or "fake news" fanned by social media, that a surge in the reaping of human organs was behind a recent spate of killings and missing persons here, saying it was causing "untold harm and despair to family and friends".


Montague, his face a mask of concern and showing the pressure of the mounting calls for harsher anti-crime measures, told the
Jamaica Observer that a new and disturbing trend had developed in Jamaica, where people were posting on social media extremely damaging and macabre images of acts of organ reaping and other such illegal practices.


"There is one such posting making the rounds at the moment which claims to show the body of a woman in the process of being cut up. After exhaustive checks by the police and other authorities on this particular posting, it was discovered that the body in question is a woman who was killed in an accident in 2014 and what was being shown on social media was the tape of the actual autopsy," a disturbed Montague said.


"The posting has become quite distressing to the family; they, the family members, are actually reliving the trauma and horror of the death of their family member and are experiencing untold mental hardship. There is another posting of a man being beaten and the people gathered around the man are all wearing yellow water boots, which I am told are not made in or imported to Jamaica. There is yet another posting of a mutilated body of a woman on the ground and those around her are all dressed in dashikis, which as you know is not a preferred style of dressing in the Jamaica of today.


Montague took to the airwaves in New York last night to debunk the rumours that radio talkshow host Lester Hinds said were running rampant in the Jamaican community there.


The minister said that he had been told just over this weekend by the police and the child agency that there has been no increase in the number of children who have been abducted, and we have been checking the morgues and the report is that all bodies have come in with their organs intact," the minister said.


Montague indicated that after consultation with the police and other related entities, it was thought that a small group of people were staging these situations and subsequently circulating them. As to the reason that they are doing this, no one really knows.


"I am therefore asking all Jamaicans who have any knowledge of this lunacy and cryptic behaviour to share the information with the authorities in any way possible including using the Stay Alert app in order to protect the good name of Jamaica. When these posts are circulated far and wide, a perception of fear develops and it is this factor of fear which is so damaging to the psyche of the nation," Montague said.


The security minister stated that all complaints must and will be investigated by the police.


"Thus far, these postings on social media by these unscrupulous people have been pointing towards a deliberate plot to cause, if I dare say, mayhem and confusion…But nonetheless, the police will continue to do their due diligence and investigate these reports when they appear or when informed.


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