Unleashing the terror of Twitter

Some geniuses in Mexico decided that sending out a tweet warning of abductions from a school would be a really amazing idea as reported in El País. Translated from the article:

A man and a woman in Mexico are facing up to 30 years in prison for sending a tweet which warned about the abduction of children in a school. The message caused a string of accidents in the city of Veracruz (Mexico), caused by desperate parents who came to rescue their children.

The two defendants are Professor Gilberto Martínez Vera, 48 years old, and Maria De Jesus Bravo, a radio announcer. Both are accused of spreading false news and causing public alarm in the city.

The tweet triggered 26 road accidents and collapsed emergency telephone lines. Gerardo Buganza, responsible for security of the state of Veracruz, compared it to the chaos of Orson Welles’s, “War of the Worlds” radio program broadcast in 1938.

“People stopped their cars in the street to pick up their children, they thought that the kidnapping happened in their schools,” said Buganza. Two defendants were being charged under laws against terrorism. Defense attorneys say their clients were only re-broadcasting what they had heard.

And who says that social media can’t do anything…