Terror hoaxes on social media

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Police intelligence unit PST urged Norwegians not to believe everything they read on social media, after sites were flooded with false information about terror targets. Rumours started making the rounds on the Internet and via SMS chain messages after authorities warned on Thursday that Norway could be targeted by terrorists in the coming days.

Authorities still only had vague information on Friday about who the terrorists were, what they could be planning to hit, and when. One rumour that started on Facebook said PST was on the hunt for six terrorists who had several crowded places in eastern Norway’s Østlandet region as their target, reported Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).

The message said it was from a source close to PST, and urged people to avoid the Nationaltheatret subway (T-bane) station, Oslo Central Station, the shopping mall Sandvika Storsenter and Oslo’s main airport at Gardermoen.

“Previous experience shows that some people can unfortunately exploit situations like this to spread information that’s not true,” said PST communications director Trond Hugubakken. “People should among other things be skeptical about rumours on social media, and listen to what’s conveyed by the authorities.”

Both Oslo airport and public transport agency Ruter told NRK traffic was as normal, and they were getting updates from police. “We have been told by police that these messages are false, so we listen to the information which comes from the authorities,” said Oslo airport spokesman Joachim Westher Andersen.

newsinenglish.no staff