Police at work on grisly fake news scandal

Security forces are at work over identifying and detaining the people behind a grisly fake news story that broke across the Latvian web recently, reports the LETA news agency July 17.

The website redzams.net on July 15 published a news story that the Alfa shopping center in Rīga had collapsed, with several hundred people dead and many injured.

The story, which quickly went viral, shares gross overtones with the real-life 2013 supermarket collapse in Zolitūde neighborhood, Rīga. It was the greatest single loss of life in the country following renewal of independence, killing 54 people and seriously injuring many more. 

Following a coalition meeting, Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis on July 17 said security services will pursue the perpetrators and look for ways to identify people producing such disgusting misinformation news.

"If needed, international cooperation will have to be carried out. Sometimes, [fake news] portals are registered outside Latvia as well... we must set up a clear mechanism enabling locals to quickly find out the true facts," he said.

Meanwhile State Police representative Ilze Jurēvica told LETA that the police are looking into whether the law has been broken in publishing such "news".

The website includes numerous other examples of blatantly fake deaths and murders, along with suggestions that readers share the stories as widely as possible.

However, a few stories appear to have their roots in reality, such as surprisingly prominent cellphone footage of a not very significant auto accident that apparently was uploaded from the cellphone of a self-styled rapper and musician named Niks Endziņš.

It is to be hoped the authorities quickly establish who runs the site and hold them accountable.

Seen a mistake?

Select text and press Ctrl+Enter to send a suggested correction to the editor

Select text and press Report a mistake to send a suggested correction to the editor

Related articles
Society
Society