How a liquor prank panicked the students

"Did you hear about the plot to confiscate 
our liquor? I heard about it via a friend..." 

It started around 11 a.m. at the University of Virginia.

Freshman Meredith Markwood, a student who describes herself as "gullible", received a message and photo (via the Snapchat phone app) from a friend explaining that she was at the campus police station because she'd been caught with some alcohol. She said officials at the school were sweeping through campus rooms and found her forbidden stash of beer.

In 38 minutes, Ms. Markwood's friend contacted her again and admitted it was only a silly practical joke.

But not before Ms. Markwood sent a warning to four of her friends, who forwarded the message to all of their friends, and their sororities and fraternities, and resident advisors in the dorms...

When Ms. Markwood discovered the truth, she tried to stop the rumor. But after she contacted some of her friends, they told her it had to be true, because they had heard it from someone else.

Even the original sender of the fake message heard about the rumor from her friends. But instead of realizing that it was her own message, she believed it had to be true, since she had heard it from other sources. She figured that her own prank message must have been a strange coincidence.

Eventually, the school had to issue an official statement saying that no, the campus police were not involved, and that the school was not searching student rooms to confiscate their alcohol.

There is no report on how many students successfully disposed of their illicit booze.

Ms. Markwood said:
“It was not a prank for the whole school,” “[My friend] was pulling my chain because I’m very, very gullible. Clearly.”
Obviously, she was not the only one.

Personal prank panics student body, The Cavalier Daily>>

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