Twitter sparks Mall of America shooting rumor; turns out to be false alarm

mall of america rect.jpg
Mark Gstohl on Flickr
In the Twitter age, rumors -- and panic -- spread quickly.
One year to the day after a violent melee at the MOA was caught on camera, folks listening to Dave Sinykin's drive-time show on KFAN yesterday evening got quite the scare.

Just before a commercial break, Sinykin's sidekick hit the breaking news sounder and relayed reports that nobody wanted to hear: A number of people on Twitter were saying there had been a shooting and mass panic in the Mall of America.

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Thank goodness, those reports turned out to be only half true -- there was a mass panic, but no shooting. After the jump, we take a look at a Twitter timeline of how the rumor spread.

The first report of a "popping sounds" occurred at 5:09 p.m.:Five minutes later, folks were still unsure what happened: Minutes later, as is wont to happen on Twitter, "popping sounds" came to mean gunshots: Less than 15 minutes after the panic began, it was over: But the rumor continued to spread: Finally, about 20 minutes later, the MOA's official Twitter account weighed in and attributed the popping sounds and panic to "a small fight": But about an hour after the scare began, some MOA Shooting Truthers refused to accept that it was a false alarm:

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Lee Henderson
Lee Henderson

Yet another thing they should license: Social Media ... Add that to Child Birth, Drinking and Singing Outside of the Shower ...

Candi Olson
Candi Olson

there is crazy noises at the mall allllll the time.

Melissa Summers
Melissa Summers

I was at the mall last night, sitting at the bar at Cadillac Ranch. A bunch of people ran by, then a few minutes later they all walked back toward the food court. We walked past the McDonald's where the fight happened about 30 minutes later and it was business as usual. My niece works at Noodles & Company and didn't even know anything had happened until she got off work.

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