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Fake news reports are hindering the emergency response to Harvey

Bad information shared on social media is causing unnecessary panic among the public and costing first responders valuable time, Officer Haley Morrow of the Beaumont Police told PBS NewsHour’s Miles O’Brien.

When asked what the public could do to help with recovery efforts, Morrow said that making sure you only share information from official accounts or from local media could help combat this proliferation of fake news. Haley said that citizens “flood our 911 operations center when they hear something or see something on social media, like that the city was going to shut off water or electricity.” Those false reports tie up 911 lines and can hinder active rescue efforts, Morrow explained.

For more on Harvey’s devastation and how you can help people who have been affected by the storm, read our guide.

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