Editorial: The Boy Who Cried Wolf

He was aided by gullible people on social media who made his claims go viral.
08 Mar 2019 16:58
Editorial: The Boy Who Cried Wolf

A 13-year-old wasted tens of thousands of dollars – all taxpayers money, wasted police man hours to cover his lie. Why was he able to do it?

Because we had gullible people on Facebook who made his claims of kidnapping viral. He was aided by stupid Fijians and even three mainstream media who went out and did their own parallel investigations, talked to the child, his parents, one journalist even went on to talk to a driver who saw a “Chinese man” fitting the description of the alleged kidnapper!

This is everything that is wrong with our people today.

When Fiji Sun first came across the post, our journalists were alarmed that a so called nurse from Lautoka Hospital had put up a post on Facebook which was shared more than 400 times giving credence to the child’s claims.

What alarmed us further was that people were calling for Chinese people to be beaten up, one went on to say that “such people” needed to be killed!

We called up police spokesperson Ana Naisoro and shared with her our concerns that if people feel like this if it was not investigated by the Police, they may take matters into their own hands. We discussed with her the possibility of mob mentality settling in. Commissioner of Police Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho immediately got a team ready to investigate the claims. They were apprehensive about the claims but wanted to be sure that they left no stones unturned. Hence, our front page story on March 6 which informed people that there was a claim and the police was investigating it.

By that time, another employee of Lautoka Hospital had sent out messages to his family and friends which ended up in the Facebook inbox of almost every Fijian on the social networking site. Nobody questioned the fact that this sounded more like a Hollywood script. People went all out, failed Fiji Labour Party politicians weighed in, everyone had someone to blame for this except pushing for common sense to prevail and wait for the outcome of police investigations.

We were further shocked when three media organisations gave the claims so much coverage rather than giving the police officers time to wrap up their work.

All those hours wasted by police officers investigating this claim, which a child made because he was scared of where he ended up and what he did and knew he was going to be in trouble with his parents, would have been spent better investigating real crimes.

Parents, let this be an example of what you should not do if your child is found reeking of alcohol and claims to have been kidnapped.

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