Chain text messages usually warn of imminent danger. The sender convinces themselves the concept is out there, so they want to keep friends and family safe. But some recipients say, “don’t hit send;” instead, they want them to play the weakest link and break the chain.
The chain messages are never helpful. These warnings give incomplete information and never come from law enforcement in an official capacity. Still, we’re moved to act somehow because the content taps our emotions. Except, fear leads to confusion that can compromise our safety. Especially when the messages arrive during a crisis.
As we enter the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Omicron variant is on the rise; the Biden Administration announced on Wednesday, January 19, every family in the United States will be eligible to receive nonsurgical N95 face masks. According to the New York Times, 400 million nonsurgical N95 Masks will go to local U.S. retail Pharmacies and Community Health Centers. These masks come from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Emergency Strategic National Stockpile.
Yet, two days before the announcement, I received no less than two chain text messages. Both, including one that went to a group I am in, warning of chemically treated face masks.
According to the text warning, people would come to your home with an offer of free masks. These chemically treated face coverings would render the homeowner unconscious – and the intruders would proceed to rob your house. This chain text message has been shared globally since 2020, with law enforcement denouncing it in each of their jurisdiction.
A version of this story happened in Arlington Heights, IL *- but it occurred at the pandemic’s beginning. In 2020, home invaders wore surgical masks and rubber gloves and forced their way into a house. One of the intruders was reported shot to death, and the other was apprehended by authorities.
End of story.
When the chain message popped up again this month, The senders helped poison the well of rational thinking. In this case, some recipients are leery of the safety and security of any masks. Especially those being offered from “the GOVERNMENT.”
We can stop this mass hysteria.
Not sure what to do if you get a chain text message warning of impending doom and gloom? There is only one way to stop the spread of disinformation. Do not forward a message with incomplete information. It is propaganda used to influence or confuse the reader. Instead, ask yourself a few questions about the text.
- Who was hurt?
- What happened.
- Where did it happen?
- When did it happen?
- Why did it happen,
- and how did it happen?
Contact your local law enforcement agency if you can answer all those questions. Either they will issue an alert or provide you with the following steps to protect yourself and others.
* Video shows men in surgical masks, gloves invade home during coronavirus crisis. by Sun-Times Media Wire – Published April 10, 2020, @5:23 PM