The first casualty in war is speculation.
After the latest not-at-all vehicular-jihad in Münster, Germany today, where three people are dead, with scores of others injured, the police are taking control of the situation and keeping people informed via their Twitter account. There is of course information on telephone victim-hotlines and advisories about keeping clear of the area while the first responders respond. Along with this usual information however their tweets on the Kiepenkerl Square attack started to get ominous.Their complete Twitter feed (starting at around 10AM EST, and going up to 1PM EST), translated from German, is below.
- At the moment there is a big bet on #Kiepenkerl. We will inform you here.
- #Kiepenkerl. Please avoid the area around the Kiepenheuer guy. We’re on the spot. More information can be found here.
- #Kiepenkerl Please also leave the spacious inner city area so that the rescue workers can work in peace. More information can be found here.
- There #Kiepenkerl are deaths and injuries. Please avoid the area. More information can be found here. We are on site
- #Kiepenkerl we have a media supervising on the mountain Road vs. set up by the Tibusstift
These tweets were made in the initial aftermath of the attack. So far, so good. Common sense stuff. The police are on site, avoid the area, get information at this Twitter account (@Polizei_nrw_ms). State media are covering the situation correctly. Great. But then a persistent theme starts to develop.
- #Kiepenkerl: The situation is also confusing. Please avoid the area of the city centre. We are on site for you. Please don’t speculate. More information can be found here.
Please don’t speculate? Why not? As you’ll see, this is not an isolated threat.
- #Kiepenkerl #Münster Please no rumors and information. With that you support us. We will keep you up to date.
- #Kiepenkerl #Münster We are on site with all our strength. You support us by avoiding the area and please do not speculate.
- #Kiepenkerl #Münster Please don’t gossip about Twitter and Facebook. We’re on the spot. Please leave the area of the city center and go home. We will inform you here.
- #Kiepenkerl #Münster please don’t speculate. We are on site and we are here to inform you
Uh-oh. Now it’s getting creepy. Not only don’t speculate, but now Germans are ‘advised’ not to spread rumours or any information, and no gossiping on Twitter and Facebook. This is getting real. But they’re not done.
- #Kiepenkerl #Münster We’re here for you. Please avoid the area of the inner city. Spreading rumors doesn’t help us.
- #Kiepenkerl #Münster Please keep the accesses free so that the rescue workers can work. We will inform you here.
- #Kiepenkerl #Münster Please do not post pictures from the site. You don’t support us with that. More information can be found here.
- #Kiepenkerl #Münster Please don’t spread rumors. We are on site for you and will keep you informed.
No pictures? Surely pictures are worth a thousand words and they don’t tell lies, do they?
- #Kiepenkerl #Münster we’re here. Please avoid the area of the city centre. You can get all the information here. Please don’t speculate and rumors. Take account of the victims. At the moment, rescue workers are supplying the injured.
An interesting correlation: speculating on vehicular jihad somehow harms the victims?
- #Kiepenkerl #Münster Please avoid the area of the city centre. We are on site for you and will inform you as soon as we have more secure information. Please do not participate in speculation and do not disseminate videos and pictures via Twitter and Facebook.
No videos? Isn’t this the best kind of information? And contrary to what the police imply, that posting videos doesn’t help them, wouldn’t posting videos actually help them? Curiouser and curiouser…
- #Kiepenkerl #Münster We’re on the spot for you. Please keep the escape routes free and leave the city centre. Rumors and speculation do not help us any further.
- #Kiepenkerl #Münster Please take account of the victims and the families and avoid speculation and rumors. We are on site for you. All information is available here.
- #Kiepenkerl #Münster We have a phone call for you on the number 08003040303 under which witnesses of the incident can report. We are on site for you.
Sanity prevails, at least temporarily, with a victim hotline. But as you’d expect, they just can’t help themselves. Like an itch that needs continual scratching, the fact that Germans might be, you know, talking about the attack gives them speculation-Tourette’s.
- #Kiepenkerl #Münster Please avoid the area and refrain from speculation. We are on site for you. All secured information is available here.
- #Kiepenkerl #Münster at the moment, the Alexian has set up a victim supervising in the Josefstr. 4.
- #Kiepenkerl #Münster Please don’t spread rumors on the net and vermeitet speculation. We are on site for you.
And on it goes. Vehicular-jihad and speculation crime: utterly enriching stuff.
One thought on “Münster, Police Tweets & Speculation Crime”
The old saw really goes like this: The first casualty of war is truth.