Arama They Didn't

7:36 pm - 12/11/2012

Post-earthquake Twitter prank causes outrage online

A message left by a Twitter user claiming to be trapped under rubble after last Friday’s powerful earthquake later turned out to be fake, causing outrage across Japan.

In the early evening of Friday, Dec 7, a magnitude-7.3 earthquake with its epicenter off the northeast coast of Japan caused tremors so large that the Tokyo cafe in which my boss and I sat fell silent as patrons no doubt began wondering whether they ought to take cover beneath their tables. Windows rattled and the entire building creaked and swayed for almost five minutes after the tremors stopped.

As people reached for their mobile phones, expressions of concern could be seen throughout the room as talk of “possible tsunami” and “northeast Japan” appeared on social networks and news sites.

Soon after, a tweet (pictured) appeared online asking for help and requesting that the message be shared as much as possible. Within the next hour, concerned Twitter users had retweeted the message more than 13,000 times, with many sending messages asking for more information about the user’s location and encouraging them to remain calm.

When the writer of the original tweet resurfaced hours later, however, and began mocking those who fell for the prank, people were understandably very upset, and soon began demanding that the tweet writer’s real identity to be determined and for them brought to justice.

“Hahaha, you fell for it! You guys really are dumb, aren’t you! Like hell I’d use Twitter if I were really in trouble!”

Not the kind of message that concerned Internet users were expecting, we’re sure you’d agree.

The tweet came from user @Reonandnene, who was later revealed to be a high school student. Despite the story being picked up by numerous media outlets, however, the user has yet to offer any words of apology, further angering the public who feel that the tweet was in extremely poor taste.

With many people still homeless as a result of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and resulting tsunami and nuclear disaster, not to mention the thousands of people who were killed, Japan is still very much in a state of recovery. Even slight tremors are enough to put people on edge, and with this heightened sense of awareness, it’s only natural that people would be ready to respond to news of someone trapped and crying for help. So when @Reonandnene reappeared online poking fun at those who took the tweet seriously, Twitter users were understandably angry:

—This is absolutely unforgivable.

—There really are some genuinely heartless individuals out there.

—Zero morals.

—Seriously- stop this crap. It’s not cool.

—There should be a penalty for this kind of thing.

—So this was just a sick joke? It’s a shame we can’t do something about people like this.

On the subject of taking action, many Internet users are demanding that the real identity and personal information of the mean-spirited joker be ascertained and that he or she be brought to justice. This incident comes just weeks after another Twitter user wrongly accused a fellow commuter of reading pornography on a train, which ended with everything from the accuser’s name and address to recent high school test scores being posted online. As angry as people are at Friday’s fake tweet writer, many Internet users are calling for calm and stressing that retaliation is not the answer.

Although the cruel prankster mockingly asks why anyone finding themselves in dire straits would turn to the social network, both Twitter and Facebook — accessible by 3G and LTE connections even when the regular phone networks went down — soon became indispensable methods of communication after the earthquake last year, with many unable to contact loved ones by any other means.

Source: 秒刊 Sunday & japantoday

love_keiko 12th-Dec-2012 03:19 am (UTC)
wtf kind of asshole! ugh!
goto 12th-Dec-2012 03:30 am (UTC)
i don't understand why people do this?? last year i had to reject a bunch of posts on april fools claiming another earthquake/tsunami hit japan
uledy 12th-Dec-2012 03:37 am (UTC)
2nd_w 12th-Dec-2012 03:50 am (UTC) serious? o.O
rainbow_yarn 12th-Dec-2012 11:05 am (UTC)
tacky as hell
haimazn 12th-Dec-2012 02:43 pm (UTC)
wtf. that's disgusting.
hisjulliet 12th-Dec-2012 10:38 pm (UTC)
sergel02 12th-Dec-2012 03:35 am (UTC)
This kind of stuff always infuriates me because it isn't just someone being mean to others, but also taking advantage of their generosity and kindness, and in this case it wasn't even to gain something, just a laugh.

But you know what they say, karma is a bitch.
annhh 12th-Dec-2012 12:05 pm (UTC)
chloe1910 12th-Dec-2012 05:01 am (UTC)
What a stupid and immature person. This kind of joke is not appreciated at all.

He/she will regret for life if in future, someone who's really trapped might just use twitter to call for help and people don't respond to the SOS thinking that it's another prank =.=

But I believe people will still respond to the sos call no matter how.
dramajewels 12th-Dec-2012 05:15 am (UTC)
This is unforgivable. Playing a rank like this can hurt others who really need assistance, only to have people not respond. I hope all those kindhearted people who did respond will continue to do so if a person is in need.
mizumi10 12th-Dec-2012 05:37 am (UTC)
what a prick and attention seeker. keep it up and he'll be like the boy who cried wolf. =.=
rosesnwine88 12th-Dec-2012 05:38 am (UTC)
juvenile, distasteful, irresponsible, and just plain hateful. for such a cruel prank, i'm inclined to believe it's just another attention seeker. i hope he or she would realize the scope and gravity of his or her actions, with his or her careless attitude.
eevaleena 12th-Dec-2012 08:07 am (UTC)
How immatures. And you mock them after that? Let see if anyone going to help YOU IF you're really trapped somewhere, someday. This kind of behaviour is just... urghhh.

But, bless all the people who's thinking of helping. Hopefully, this didn't stop them from responding to other people who really needs them.
inachan89 12th-Dec-2012 09:05 am (UTC)
How can he be that immature and stupid??Making fun of people who honeslty tried to help him,not feeling sorry at all...
whited_79 12th-Dec-2012 09:47 am (UTC)
ugh distasteful...I hope this won't turn into boy-and-wolf the next time another big quake happens...:(
rainbow_yarn 12th-Dec-2012 11:06 am (UTC)
this dick needs to be castrated
shunluv 12th-Dec-2012 01:01 pm (UTC)
someday those people should taste their own lies and have those thing really happen to them without anyone going to help them for real would be much better since they have no respect whatsoever to other people..

what if there is other real victim out there can't even reach for help while everyone else busy wasting time searching for prankster, this is really big crime no matter how old the prankster is..

this kind of thing make me losing faith to people...
too many asshole:(
monotuned 12th-Dec-2012 06:06 pm (UTC)
I read up a bit more news about this, authenticity not checked but if it's true this person is such a scumbag. After his "SOS" tweet, he tweeted his location as a city in Miyagi that was hit pretty hard in the tsunami. What a cruel and thoughtless joke, obviously the feelings of those in the city who were affected by the disaster are thrown out of the window.

His school has apparently apologized after 2chan sleuths tracked down the person's identity. Kind of sickening that he still haven't apologized on the twitter account.
xanithofdragons 12th-Dec-2012 08:13 pm (UTC)
There really are some things it's just not okay to joke about. :<<
dramaticsurgeon 13th-Dec-2012 12:04 am (UTC)
The worst part is, someone may actually use Twitter later in need of help, and people will ignore them because of this. >_< They don't deserve to use the internet if they're going to use it to write trash like that.

Edited at 2012-12-13 12:05 am (UTC)
cchristianee 13th-Dec-2012 08:40 am (UTC)
The boy who cried wolf.

Enough said .

stole_away 14th-Dec-2012 02:18 am (UTC)
this person is so annoying and ought to get slapped once by everyone srsly.

this reminds me of the annoying people who always start the rumour of people dying on twitter, srsly wth is wrong with you people?!
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