Social media causing a stir about creepy clowns

Social media's role in recent clown threats

You've seen it right here on KVUE, another story about people dressing up as clowns to scare others. The KVUE Facebook page has been bombarded with clown sightings locally and nationally. But is the coverage on social media keeping the hype going.

KVUE spoke with Tegna Social Media expert Evonne Benedict Thursday.

“Kids are seeing these things, adults are seeing these things. They're seeing these creepy clown things and they're like 'I'm going to try that in my neighborhood,' so that's a real hazard here,” Benedict said

Benedict says it can be hard to tell what's real and what's not when it comes to viral stories like the clown sightings. Social media has a hand in spreading these stories like wildfires.

“You might think it’s all fun and games to dress up as a creepy clown and scare the kids in your neighborhood, but it's having a real impact on people’s livelihood and safety,” Benedict said.

Benedict says the public needs to ask themselves what's the value in sharing these stories. Social media can be controlled to a certain extent, but the damage it can cause can last.

“At one point do we just say we're not going to keep giving these people attention. I'm not going to show this on social media. I'm not going to spread this,” Benedict said.

Police say if you see or hear any threats, give them a call right away.

(© 2016 KVUE)


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