The death of innocents is always a global tragedy. Nobody can forget the extremist attacks on Beirut and Paris just last week. Following these attacks, a strong rumor arose in the internet that the attackers had used Sony’s Playstation 4 to communicate among themselves. It all originated from a Forbes article, that quoted:
The hunt for those responsible (eight terrorists were killed Saturday night, but accomplices may still be at large) led to a number of raids in nearby Brussels. Evidence reportedly turned up included at least one PlayStation 4 console.
Belgian federal home affairs minister Jan Jambon said outright that the PS4 is used by ISIS agents to communicate, and was selected due to the fact that it’s notoriously hard to monitor. “PlayStation 4 is even more difficult to keep track of than WhatsApp,” he said.
Paul Tassi, the writer of the article, later informed Kotaku that the report was mistaken, as he had misread the statements. There was no official mention of a PS4 found in the raid, and the concern regarding PS4 being used was merely a possibility and reflection on security issues of Belgium. Since then, the information has been corrected and updated.
Even though the article has been amended and the concerning details have been released to the public, media seems to be addressing this issue as a legitimate concern, instead of accepting it for what it is- speculation with little to no fact to support it. This trend is especially noticeable in social media.
A tragedy of this magnitude is dreadful by itself. But, it is also tragic to see certain individuals or organizations still jumping at the slightest chance to take advantage of such a loss, in order to progress their prejudice. It seems that video games still remain as a social scapegoat that can be blamed for anything from Satanism to terrorism.