Fake Miami Herald screenshots are stoking fears of more school threats

By Daniel Funke · February 22, 2018

First, it was imposter tweets. Now, someone is making fake screenshots of a 
Miami Herald story about school threats following last week’s mass shooting.

Monique O. Madan first noticed them on Monday. One parent reached out asking if 
W.R. Thomas Middle School in Miami-Dade County was actually under threat, which 
she saw in a story bearing Madan’s byline.

Thinking it was an isolated incident, she said no and moved on.

“I said, ‘This is false,’” the Herald breaking news reporter told Poynter. “I 
didn’t bother tweeting about it until my phone started ringing.”

Soon, Madan had a barrage of tweets, voicemails, messages and emails from 
parents and students asking her if the rumor was true. The story was 
circulating in a screenshot of a doctored Herald story about an increase in 
school threats following last week’s mass shooting at a high school in 
Parkland, Florida.

That’s when she started to pay attention.

“It’s very concerning. I received calls from dozens of parents begging, ‘Please 
answer me: Is this threat real or not? I’m scared to take my kid to school,’” 
said Madan, who tweeted a debunk of the screenshots on Tuesday morning. “It was 
crazy to hear that — to think someone went out and did that.”

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