Last night, several of my Facebook friends were sharing several posts about yesterday’s shooting at Smith Mountain Lake. Some declared that the event must be a hoax as the boyfriend of the reporter tweeted about the tragedy supposedly before it took place. Curious for the truth, I explored Twitter to see for myself. Here’s what I found:
The important factor for this article is the time stamp, 6:34 AM. According to news reports, as the graphic above (from The Roanoke Times) shows, the shooting took place at about 6:45 AM. Therefore, if Christ Hurst tweeted about the event before it took place, obviously it must have been pre-planned or didn’t actually happen. What a conspiracy, huh?
To test Twitter, at 11:20 PM, I tweeted a message to my followers wishing them a good night. However, I have to say that I was confused when the time stamp on my message was 8:20 PM. I assure you that I posted it at 11:20. Although I live in the Eastern Time Zone, it was 8:20 elsewhere, the Pacific Time Zone.
Going through my Twitter settings, I found that, apparently by default, they were set to the wrong time zone. I therefore changed it and checked on Mr. Hurst’s tweet again. This time I found this:
Although I don’t think I would be quick to express my grief on Twitter after losing the love of my life, I suppose we all cope with tragedy in different ways.
So I guess just that little bit of research shoots a hole in the grand “Smith Mountain Lake Conspiracy.”
Friends, I encourage you to constantly check the validity of your information before spreading it to social media or anywhere else. Are there some conspiracies afoot? Quite possibly. However, to assume that everyone is lying and that all tragedies are the result of some secret plan is just plain stupid and makes you appear exceedingly foolish and cold-hearted.
Pray for those affected by this tragedy, don’t mindlessly spread gross misinformation or immediately try to use this horrid event to advance your political agenda.
Thanks for reading and have a pleasant weekend!