THE Daily Mail has sparked fury after inaccurately suggesting that a lorry crashed into pedestrians on Oxford Street.
The online edition of the tabloid published the information in an article about an incident around Oxford Circus this evening when panicked shoppers called police reporting gunshots shortly after 4.30pm.
The Metropolitan Police later said they have not located any evidence of shots being fired or casualties.
Nevertheless, Mail Online published a tweet suggesting that a lorry had ploughed into pedestrians on the busy shopping street.
The publication posted an article on Twitter with the headline: “'Gunshots fired' as armed police officers surround Oxford Circus station after 'lorry ploughs into pedestrians'”.
The scenes here:
Two Mail Online tweets about a lorry, blood and pedestrians were based on a single tweet from 10 days ago. Both have now been deleted.
— Mark Di Stefano ?? (@MarkDiStef) November 24, 2017
It appears that the article was based on a 10-day-old tweet describing a lorry crash on Oxford Street.
Included in the piece, it read: "There is a lorry stopped on the pavement in Oxford Street, police all around it and blood on the floor, it's definitely the aftermath of something maybe just a crash but nothing on the news... Anyone have a clue?"
A photo of police vehicles at Oxford Circus was also included with the caption: "Armed officers have arrived at the scene after a lorry is reported to have ploughed into pedestrians.”
The post immediately sparked outrage on social media after police revealed there was no evidence of shots being fired or casualties.
One post read: “The Mail use a tweet from 10 days ago, reporting it as today’s Oxford Circus incident. Well it is the Mail Online. Bless them.”
Winners in all this - @metpoliceuk and @BTP , evacuating busiest tube station in town w minimal fuss and no casualties. Losers - @MailOnline who conjured a truck attack from an old tweet and @Daily_Express still reporting non-existing gunman. https://t.co/89qe8aoH0g
— Dimi Reider (@reider) November 24, 2017
Another said: “How fake information spreads in a breaking news situation: The Mail Online story about a lorry at Oxford Circus that has been shared more than 1,000 times was wrong, based on a tweet was sent 10 days ago”.
Social media users also criticised the Daily Express for reporting that a “gunman” had “run amok” and “opened fire on Black Friday shoppers”.
A slightly more sarcastic post read: "Surely the Express wouldn't report such a thing without verifying the facts.
"That would be dangerous, irresponsible & against the principles of good journalism ;)."
Are you sure? Because the @Daily_Express says it's like a "terror attack as Oxford Street gunman runs amok." Surely they wouldn't report such a thing without verifying the facts. That would be dangerous, irresponsible & against the principles of good journalism. ? pic.twitter.com/Eo8Shg7vjD
— Chet Powell (@ChetPowell) November 24, 2017