July 14, 2016

A truck drove into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in Nice late on Thursday night. Even as several outlets reported more than 70 victims, the number had yet to be officially confirmed at the time of publication.

With this attack, the latest in a tragic series to have shaken France in recent years, government authorities urged social media users to avoid sharing rumors. The French government’s official Twitter account asked users to “act responsibly” and share only content from sources they trust.

A similar appeal came from the Gendarmerie, the military police.

This has not stopped users from raising alarm about a fire allegedly at the base of the Eiffel Tower, which police say was an accident unrelated to Nice.

The attack has also already seen the return of a bizarre hoax about a relative gone missing, which has already been debunked.

As with previous attacks, the advice from the “On the Media’s” Breaking News Handbook remains relevant.

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Alexios Mantzarlis joined Poynter to lead the International Fact-Checking Network in September of 2015. In this capacity he writes about and advocates for fact-checking. He…
Alexios Mantzarlis

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