Social media posts with photos of fake missing teens were retweeted thousands of times following the explosion at Manchester Arena in England on Monday before some realized that the teens weren’t actually missing.
One tweet showing a YouTuber’s photo with the caption, "My son was in the Manchester Arena today. He’s not picking up my call! Please help me" was retweeted more than 15,000 times, The Washington Post reported.
The YouTuber, who posts under the name TheReportoftheWeek, posted overnight to say he was alive and in the United States and calling the tweet "fake news," the Post reported. The attack on the arena left 22 dead and 59 injured. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack, another Post article reported.
Several images and collages of photos depicted teens who were said to be missing after the attack, but many used photos of YouTubers and others in an attempt to get retweets on their pages and "go viral," the Post reported.
The Oxford Mail reported that a photo of a teenager, Jayden Parkinson, who had been murdered four years earlier was tweeted as a missing teen. The teen’s mother Samantha Shrewsbury posted repeatedly asking why her picture was used and attempting to correct the record.
Another social media user posted an image of himself and claimed it was his twin brother who was missing, the Post reported. And still another YouTuber noticed her picture in one of the collages and started an ironic hashtag, #Pray4Eva.
Twitter users thought these scam artists were lower than low, with many saying they should be prosecuted.
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