Beware these fake social media pleas to locate missing family at Grenfell Tower

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Six people are dead more than 50 are injured after a fire engulfed Grenfell Tower, a 24-story, 120-room apartment building in west London, early Wednesday morning.

According to the Guardian, hundreds of firefighters descended upon the building to rescue residents and smother the fire shortly before 1am. Seventy-four people are being treated in the hospital, with 20 of them in critical care.

Police said it was too soon to speculate what could have caused the fire and that it would likely take some time before victims could be identified.

ButTwitter trolls, many of them reportedly out of Mexico, are attempting to exploit the tragedy by sharing photos and pleas of fake missing persons, echoing similar fake social media stunts that took place after the Manchester bombing.

According to BuzzFeed News, Andrea Noel, a journalist based in Mexico, has been included in the fake search for loved ones. She was also included in misinformation during the Manchester attack last month, which she originally believed was a targeted attack linked to previous harassment she’s experienced online.

The same account sharing a plea for Noel also tweeted a story for another photo of a “brother.” The account has since been made private.

Another account alleged that this viral video star from Mexico, known as El Pirata de Culiacán, had gone missing, too.

His Twitter account, however, shows he’s active and has not commented on the fire.

https://twitter.com/culiacanpirata/status/874835588310077441

That same account went on to retweet other pleas regarding the fire. The account also began retweeting images of the viral video star being depicted as the gunman who shot Republican House whip Steve Scalise and others in Virginia early Wednesday morning.

Another account retweeting fake images of the alleged shooter also shared a plea to find his sister, a nurse, although the tweet has since been deleted. A reverse image search did not reveal the origin of the photo.

Yet another account claimed YouTuber Mars Aguirre was missing.

While that tweet claimed she was someone’s sister-in-law, another tweet claimed Aguirre to be a sister.

Aguirre’s Twitter reveals she was active in the hours after those posts were shared.

There has been a flurry of hoaxes and misinformation spread in regards to the Grenfell Tower, including claims that it took firefighters two hours to respond to the incident. This is a developing story and a serious tragedy. Look for official reports from trustworthy sources and use some common sense before retweeting.

 

H/T BuzzFeed News

Samantha Grasso

Samantha Grasso

Samantha Grasso is a former IRL staff writer for the Daily Dot with a reporting emphasis on immigration. Her work has appeared on Los Angeles Magazine, Death And Taxes, Revelist, Texts From Last Night, Austin Monthly, and she has previously contributed to Texas Monthly.