“One increasingly problematic issue related to the disastrous fires in Jackson County is the spreading of false information,” the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office wrote on Facebook, adding: “Please don’t re-post and spread misinformation based on some unverified random post or meme. Rumors make the job of protecting the community more difficult.”
“Oregon’s first responders are scrambling to keep Oregonians safe from the wildfires ravaging our state,” Senator Ron Wyden said in an email. “The last thing they need is a deluge of calls prompted by spurious conspiracy posts. Facebook continues to move far too slowly to clamp down on the spread of misinformation, particularly by fringe right-wing websites and personalities.”
On Twitter, one independent journalist reported that residents of Molalla, Oregon, had called the police after they’d traveled to film fires in the area. Members of a private Facebook group called Molalla NOW allegedly threatened to shoot the individual “on sight,” according to screenshots shared on Twitter.