This post documents – in detail – how white supremacists used social media to create genuine fear and hysteria at the University of Missouri in late 2015.
White supremacists, KKK and/or neo Nazi’s used social media propaganda to incite fear and panic by falsely asserting that the KKK was on the University of Missouri campus and acting violently (Assertion, Lie). This propaganda created fear among the students, who then passed along frightening hoax statements and photos as facts, creating more fear and panic.
This propaganda campaign was successful: the hoaxers made it look like the propaganda came from the students themselves, successfully created fear and panic, which led to a shutdown of the university.
CAUTION: This page contains imagery that most people consider objectionable.
During unrest at the University of Missouri, social media was filled with rumors and provocative images intended to incite emotion.
- The story begins with anonymous threats made against black students at the campus. These threats, made on YikYak social media were very real (two students at other college campuses were arrested for making those threats).
- White supremacists began circulating their own rumors on social media, purporting to be from University of Missouri students witnessing acts of hate and violence on campus. As we will see, these were provable hoaxes designed to incite panic and fear.
- White supremacists circulated hoax posts on Twitter allegedly showing photos of the KKK on campus and saying violence was occurring “right now” or was eminent.
- So many messages flooded social media, that the student body president passed along these rumors that the KKK had shown up on campus and added commentary that he was working with local police and other authorities (an “Appeal to Authority” which added authenticity to the report). Later, the student body president formally retracted his tweet.
- But by then, students and others were sharing these hoax images of KKK members allegedly on campus.
- These social media posts were often captioned as “happening right now” but in fact, the photos were taken at events, in other states, occurring years and months before the situation at the University of Missouri.
- Days later, some were blaming students for the propaganda that actually came from white supremacists.
- At this point, social media propaganda successfully generated mass panic and fear.
Continue reading for details never before presented.