This Kind of News Doesn't Belong on Social MediaOpinion
OPINION — There are times when San Angelo LIVE! will not use its dominating presence on social media to publish a story. Today’s news of bomb threats at all five area Walmarts is one of them. This isn’t the time for that.
Doing so gives the perpetrators of the threat too much significance. Spreading news about bomb threats encourages others to call in bomb threats. And soon, every day your news organization is covering bomb threats.
Now, the exceptions would be if the bomb threat included physical evidence of a bomb. We were once the victims of a threatening package dropped off at our building. The Abilene Police Department bomb squad was called to disarm the package. It turned out that the package was full of magazines.
But in this case, we have a call-in bomb threat of a bomb at a Walmart and authorities don’t know what Walmart the caller meant, so for safety, all five Walmarts in San Angelo are evacuated.
Other news organizations report this and the caller, if he or she is a prankster, just made huge news.
Instead of reporting the bomb threat on social media and giving a potential prankster that much notoriety, we instead reported it on our website, but did not link social media to it.
Now, once authorities tell us what happened and who they think did it, we’ll report that far and wide, especially if the prankster or pranksters are arrested.
At approximately 6:30 p.m., San Angelo police said the bomb threats were a hoax.