Calhoun, GA Residents React to Viral Facebook Post
CALHOUN, Ga. (WDEF) — A Facebook post is drawing a lot of attention to the small town of Calhoun, Georgia, but not in the way city officials would like.
“The city’s concern is the fact that it misrepresents the city in indicating that it’s an official website, and I think at one time it did say on there local government organization, and had a resemblance of the city’s logos on there, which made it seem, appear official, and it created quite a concern in our community,” says Mayor Jimmy Palmer.
Mayor Palmer says they’ve received many calls from concerned residents about the post, who thought it was real.
“We have a lot of events downtown that bring a lot of people downtown, and you don’t want that type of publicity out there that might make people afraid to be on your streets,” Palmer said.
The post on the City of Calhoun, Gordon County, GA. Facebook page has been shared more than 170,000 times.
It says an officer killed a copperhead as it came out of the sewer in front of the courthouse. It says to avoid the sewers, since they believe more snakes are in them.
“I think it’s a poor prank to be playing on people, because if it really happened, no one would believe it,” said Calhoun resident, Omega Brock.
“Calhoun, Georgia Government is the real Facebook page from the city of Calhoun,” said Dwayne Jackson, Kickin 103.5 Radio. “The other one is a parody, a satire. And if you will look closely in the fine print, since they created that page, whomever it was, it has said, ‘This is a satirical page not affiliated with any government organization.'”
Calhoun city officials say they’ve contacted Facebook about the post, but it is not their intent to suppress any possibly protected satirical speech on the Facebook page.
They say they just don’t want the public to be confused by these fake posts, and panic over something fictitious.
“People will just jump before they actually say, ‘Wait a minute, let me think about this.’ Sometimes people react a lot quicker than they really should, and that’s how fake news gets spread,” Jackson said.