Never help fools or bad guys spread fear
In recent days we have seen two cases of threats against crowded places, specifically against important shopping centers in the cities of Espoo and Oulu, published in the Tor opaque network. Especially the first case, the announcement of a shooting massacre for May 3, reached great diffusion in social media.
It is important to point out that this type of actions can constitute a crime of illegal threat, and as such they are being investigated by the authorities.
The police reported that in the case of the threat against the Iso Omena shopping center in Espoo there has been a young man arrested. And he does not seem to be a terrorist: while interrogated, he claimed to have acted just moved by his anger after losing a large amount of money in the online gambling.
Now, the suspected author faces the unpleasant possibility of two years of imprisonment and a great fine for the damage caused. What a mess he has gotten himself into by foolishness. The case of the Valkea shopping center in Oulu is still under investigation.
Never, not even moved by momentary anger, due to drunkenness or to play a joke, should be published this type of notices
As a journalist for years dedicated in my home country to cover real events related to terrorism, I think it is very important to emphasize that nobody should ever play down with these things, which unfortunately are not so rare. The police explained that threats of this kind are detected “every day”, though often they do not reach public knowledge. This is because it is up to the experts to assess their veracity and decide if it is necessary to warn the population.
Never, not even moved by momentary anger, due to drunkenness or to play a joke, should be published or spread this type of notices. And if you happen to find one while surfing the web, it is best to inform the police instead of sharing it.
These behaviors are always reprehensible, even if later the facts turn out to be false or if it is shown that the perpetrator was not aware of the damage he was causing. Because they generate alarm, they unnecessarily harm the people's sense of security and cause an irreparable damage to the businesses that market their products and services in the affected places.
In addition, such actions force authorities and public institutions to mobilize large amounts of human and material resources to counteract the perverse effects and get citizens to regain confidence. These unnecessarily distracted resources, which certainly are not cheap, would be better employed to improve everyone's life.
So, if in the future you find a threat of this type, follow the police recommendations: report it immediately to the authorities and if the threat is imminent, call 112. Based on your information, they will determine what should be done. Do not spread the suspicious publication in social media, because that may cause a sort of imitation effect and encourage others to instill fear.
Finally, do not be afraid and continue your life normally. Fortunately, the risk of terrorist attacks in Finland is low compared to other countries and the police take their work seriously. If they make any comments on the matter it means they are in control of the situation. Therefore, they will immediately inform if a particular location or area is to be avoided.
Never help fools or bad guys spread fear and always trust the authorities, they will do their best to protect you.