#DCBlackout debunked – panicked residents fear government crackdown after massive EXPLOSION heard in Washington DC
Riots shook Washington DC for a third consecutive night on Sunday. Mobs of protesters descended on the White House, and the historic St John’s Church nearby was set alight by arsonists. Amid the popping of police weapons and the crack of fireworks, some Twitter users reported hearing a loud explosion, right before their internet and phone service cut off.
Panic quickly spread. Reports surfaced of a massive police crackdown, and social media users assumed the authorities were rounding up anyone violating Mayor Muriel Bowser’s 11pm curfew. As fires were lit in front of the Washington Monument, the entire DC National Guard was called in to restore order.
One picture circulating on social media appeared to show flames billowing from the bombed wreckage of the US Capitol, apparently justifying the concern of social media users. However, it was soon revealed that the picture was actually a screenshot from the Netflix series ‘Designated Survivor.’
The agitated masses accused Twitter of deleting tweets about the supposed ‘blackout,’ yet the hashtag #DCBlackout was trending in the early hours of Monday morning. But, in another twist to the tale, tweets bearing the hashtag disappeared from Twitter in the following hours.
There is no indication that any kind of blackout has occurred in Washington DC, and several mainstream journalists have taken to Twitter to dispel the rumors. However, the media too have been accused of staying silent about the blackout.
Unrest is a perfect climate for misinformation to spread. And, after six nights of violence in more than 75 major cities, the restoration of law and order looks a long way off yet.
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