When police have to react to hoaxes

Recently, a rumor of a planned terrorist attack at a Christmas market has spread in Bratislava. It got so serious that the head of the police forces, Tibor Gašpar, had to interfere and calm down the public. What was the hoax about?

Ria Gehrerová
Ria Gehrerová Denník N, Slovakia
Source: Denník N
When police have to react to hoaxes - NewsMavens
The police. Image from Wikimedia Commons

Why this story matters:

The hoax has gone viral. It is an audio recording, in which a man recalls how he found a lost wallet on the ground and when he returned it to the owner -- a man of Arab descent -- he was told not to go to the markets again because of an imminent terrorist attack. To many, it was obvious that the government knows about it and wants to keep it secret. Everything makes sense, right?

After some people sent the recording to the police, the president of the forces posted a video on Facebook. In it, he assured that the police has been dealing with this trace for about two years and are convinced that it is false. However, the police are alert, he claimed, and they will take care of the citizen’s safety.

Details from the story:

  • It is not usual for Slovak officials to react to hoaxes.
  • In December, Christmas markets are always crowded by people.
  • A year ago, similar hoaxes were very popular in Prague.
  • In fact, new pillars made of concrete were installed at the market square. Police claimit is a reaction to the latest terrorist attacks in the Europe.
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