Be On The Lookout For Fakers

After a week of optimistic conversation about social media at SXSW Interactive, I was saddened to see two articles about the nastier side of the world we are creating.*

First, The Austin American Statesmen reported on the “Fake Austin police Twitter page shut down.”

Then, MSNBC reported on, “Disturbing Gang Initiation Text Message Circulating Throughout Coastal Bend.”

CORPUS CHRISTI – A disturbing text message is making its way through the Coastal Bend, warning people of a gang initiation that would involve killing several people at a local retailer.

The most interesting part of the article is,

Police said it’s all a hoax, stemming from a text-chain that began in Memphis, Tenn. back in 2005.

Much like urban legends, these type of hoaxes proceed to live and have a life of their own long after they first surface.

These are not the first.  Nor will they be the last.  Transparency is key and stay frosty.  All for now…

* I have been informally tracking these type of hoaxes since I read the Kevin Poulsen WIRED articles on “Swatting” (“Blind Hacker Says He’s No Friend of Convicted SWATters” and “FBI Charges Blind Phone Phreak With Intimidating a Verizon Security Official“).

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