Social media spreads news of missing girl, who was not missing - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Social media spreads news of missing girl, who was not missing

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(WMC-TV) - News of a Germantown teen's supposed disappearance erupted on Facebook and Twitter Monday evening. It was revealed Tuesday that the 14-year-old was never missing and police have a warning now for other young people.

Many Action News 5 viewers may have gotten alerts about the supposedly missing teen, which proves the power social media has when a crisis arises, whether it is real or not.

Photos of the teen were posted to Facebook and sent to hundreds of e-mail recipients through social groups, churches, and Twitter.

Many in the teen's neighborhood off Dogwood Road helped spread the message before they learned that the girl was not missing at all.

According to the Germantown Police Department, officers responded following protocol.

In a statement, Deputy Chief Rodney Bright wrote, "Interviews of family and friends were undertaken, areas of possible whereabouts explored. Other law enforcement agencies were notified and they too monitored social media."

Police say the teen turned up just before they were going to officially alert the media. The teen told police she was in the neighborhood all day. Police now stress that young people should always let their parents know where they are.

Action News 5 made the decision not to publicize the story Monday night because police had not yet confirmed any information regarding the situation. Meanwhile, no one is answering the door at the teenager's home Tuesday and neighbors are not interested in talking.

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