Social media causing panic
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Social media is an excellent tool to assist in the crime fighting plans of the country. However, the recent circulation of videos via Facebook and WhatsApp is cause for great concern.
I have been the recipient of photographs of persons who are accused of being abductors of women, and a video is being circulated that speaks to persons kidnapping Jamaicans to take their organs. It is of concern to me because individuals in my contacts list, when they receive correspondence, they forward it to all persons in their contacts without a thought of the reliability or truthfulness of the message that they are sending.
Unless people receive photographs from the police, they should desist from sending these messages, because it can damage innocent persons' reputations and even cost them their lives. It is frightening to me that someone who has a disagreement with me can just take my picture and send it around that I am a criminal. It is more frightening that someone who receives this picture sends it to everyone in their contact without verifying if this is truth.
Let us be more responsible in the way we use social media. Let us use the app that the Ministry of security has provided for us (STAY ALERT APP) to help the police to fight crime. Save someone's reputation; it could be yours.
I also think that the police have a responsibility to provide timely information and guidelines to the public as it relate to these alleged abductors. There was great panic in Frankfield, Clarendon, on February 9 when teenagers heard that the abductors were in the community. Students started to cry and parents turned up at school to pick up their children. It was panic all around.
I think the police have a responsibility to inform residents of dangers that may exist and give us the assurance that they have things under control. Let us just be responsible as we fight crime.