In the days since the heartbreaking massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., a message attributed to actor Morgan Freeman has gone viral, especially on Facebook.
More on the Newtown, Conn. tragedy:
This is a bit different from the hoaxes we usually cover here at CSO. Those hoaxes usually pose as news articles relating to the event. A malicious link is usually included, and when the reader selects it, trouble ensures. But the fake Freeman message doesn't appear to have those characteristics. It's just a picture of the actor with a statement that reads in part:
"You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here's why. It's because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single victim of Columbine?
"Disturbed people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basement see the news and want to top it by doing something worse and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he'll be remembered as a horrible monster instead of a sad nobody. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you’ve just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or maternity ward next."
The remarks were actually written by Mark Price of Vancouver. It's strange that he didn't stick his name on it in the first place. The comments accurately sum up how a lot of people feel, including me.
The lesson here: Don't believe every Facebook post you see. And when you see the inevitable hoaxes that are still to come, make sure you stay away from any links that might be included.