What might the 2011 version of Orson Welles’s War of the World‘s radio broadcast look like using today’s fastest method of information-sharing?
Gerardo Buganza, the interior secretary for Veracruz state in Mexico, said it could very well be the “Twitter terrorism” caused by two people who allegedly spread false reports of gunmen attacking schools and kidnapping children. Those reports caused such panic when parents scrambled around the city to get to their children that there were dozens of car accidents and emergency phone lines were jammed.
[More from Mashable: Google Considers Suggested User Feature for Google+]
The two people, a private school teacher and a radio presenter, now face 30 years in prison for charges under terrorism laws.
According to the Guardian, these are the most serious charges ever for inciting chaos or violence through Twitter.
[More from Mashable: 5-Minute Guide to Getting a Job in Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC]]
Prosecutors claim one of the defendants tweeted, “My sister-in-law just called me all upset, they just kidnapped five children from the school.”
Both defendants claim that they only repeated what they saw elsewhere on the Internet.
Do you think people should be imprisoned for inciting violence or chaos using Twitter? How serious should the punishment be? (Welles received no punishment for the mass hysteria that the Halloween 1938 broadcast caused.)
This story originally published on Mashable here.