Los Angeles: “Better Wake Up,” one person reportedly states over Instagram. “It’s a war goin’ on.”
“This area ain’t safe right now,” another person states with a map allegedly showing a certain portion of South Los Angeles.
Intense warnings were circulating across many social media platforms this past weekend. The LA Times reported that this past weekend about a half dozen shootings rang in South LA, leaving one man dead and 12 others wounded. Due to several postings on social media from a multitude of individuals, creating an “echo chamber in which it was difficult to determine what was a real threat,” left a large number of people wondering the seriousness of the “rumor.” The so-called-rumor began circulating after reports of a 27 year old male being reportedly gunned down in South Los Angeles earlier this month.
Police are monitoring the traffic as they try to cease the violence. LAPD Deputy Chief Bill Scott reportedly met with several gang intervention workers Monday evening, telling them that no evidence supported the #100days100nights threat and asked for help in calming fears. “You’ve got everyday folk who have nothing to do with gang lifestyle and culture scared,” Scott said.
Investigators and Intervention workers said gang members don’t merely rely on spray-painting sides of buildings to send threatening messages. Now, social media platforms allow gangs to directly challenge their adversaries and quickly spread fear within neighborhoods and communities.
“Gang rivalries are now fought by insults and threats on social media,” said Robert Rubin, a community intervention worker in South LA. Aqeela Sherills, who is also in gang intervention, agrees. “Now the message gets across the city faster,” he said. “In the neighborhood, everything travels by word of mouth. Social media added a quantum effect to it.”