Facebook ‘White Van’ rumor instills fear in US
Baltimore Mayor Jack Young too believes a white van kidnapping woman for trafficking.
Facebook asks users to refrain from spreading ‘white van’ posts.
New York: Baltimore Mayor Jack Young’s statement that “somebody in a white van” is trying to abduct young women intensified the rumors that had already instilled fear in people across America.
““We’re getting reports of somebody in a white van trying to snatch up young girls for human trafficking and for selling body parts,” the mayor told a local broadcaster on Wednesday without realizing that it was simply a hoax.
To corroborate his statement the Baltimore mayor said “It’s all over Facebook”, prompting the social media giant to issue a statement.
Facebook then announced that it will limit the circulation of viral posts that are spreading a hoax story about men in white vans luring women into sex trafficking and selling their body parts.
A local broadcaster in Detroit reported that a handyman said he’s been harassed since the viral posts starting circulating becasue he drives a white work van.
“A lot of people have been following me, trying to pull me over, trying to look inside the van and stuff,” WDIV quoted Marcel Jackson as saying.
A Facebook spokesman said, “Posts with this claim have been rated as false by third-party fact-checkers and we’re dramatically reducing their distribution.”
“People who see these false posts on Facebook, try to share them, or have already shared them will see warnings alerting them that they’re false,” he said.