A large portion of the mid-Atlantic region was dealing with tons of water and fast winds that were caused by Hurricane Sandy. During that period of time, social media was definitely in existence, with tons of people using it to make comments on the current situation. A lot of the commentary provided on social media was helpful, as many people wanted to offer their support, prayers, and even condolences to those who were in the eye of the storm and were dealing with such tragedy, especially since many people lost their lives because of the hurricane. However, some of the action that was taking place on social media was not so nice at all. A number of Photoshop pros were using their skills to create fake and edited images of sharks in the flooded streets, particularly in the subway area of New York City.
There were also several fake posts, including a fake post that stated that the New York Stock Exchange had been flooded. There were rumors that the Governor, Andrew Cuomo, had been stuck in the city because of the flooding and that the electricity and power were out in the area. These posts, which were completely false, ended up being spread out to the public by a number of news stations, causing even more cause for concern. City authorities are currently considering the possibility of legal action due to the problems that this has caused.
The Councilman for New York City, Peter F. Vallone Jr., has said, “The storm showed how great social media could be in addressing potential problems, but unfortunately there are morons like this out there scaring people.” He also said, “This is one of the first times we’ve seen social media used this way. I have absolutely talked to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, and they are taking this very seriously.”
The person behind the fake tweets and rumors is Shashank Tripathi, who was once a hedge fund analyst in the city. He also worked as a political consultant. At the time of the tweets, he was using a Twitter account under the name of ComfortablySmug. He has since posted a tweet apologizing for his false tweets. Because of the storm and the controversy that has been made because of the things he has posted on Twitter, Tripathi has decided to leave the campaign for Christopher R. Wright. He was working as the manager or the campaign. Some people may say it was all in fun but when an individual chooses to report a false incident, they can be punished with imprisonment because it is considered a crime.False Alarm Hurricane Tweets by Harrison Barnes