Mall fight raises new concerns over social media sites - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Mall fight raises new concerns over social media sites

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

Rebekah Sheets watched what she thought was just another trip to the mall turn into mass confusion Saturday night at the Mall of Louisiana.

"One of store owners... they actually told us they're have been gun shots as he was pulling down the gate," said Sheets.

Fortunately no shots were fired but panic remained. This after an invitation went out earlier Saturday on the social media site Instagram asking others to show up and meet.

Jensen Moore-Copple is an assistant professor of Strategic Communication at LSU and says while the invitation itself is not alarming, the potential for conflict is still there.

"Anytime you send out a mass message and have no way of controlling who gets the message or who is showing up you don't know what's going to happen and so it is something we do need to watch and certainly be concerned about," said Moore-Copple.

Local law enforcement agencies do monitor communication on social media sites but say it's difficult to see everything without input from the public and add a lot of the responsibility falls on the shoulders of parents.

"Talk to your kids about this type of thing," said East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Casey Rayborn-Hicks. "If they see a post on Facebook, Instagram, social media about meeting up somewhere. Only meet up with close friends, know what you're getting into."

That advice does little to ease Rebekah's concerns as she considers her next trip to the mall.

"At the Mall of Louisiana I normally consider pretty safe but now I'm going to consider going with at least one other person instead of just by myself," said Sheets.

Copyright 2013 WAFB. All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • 'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    Thursday, April 27 2017 12:17 AM EDT2017-04-27 04:17:43 GMT
    Friday, April 28 2017 11:32 PM EDT2017-04-29 03:32:02 GMT
    Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children.

    More >>

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children. 

    More >>
  • Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

    Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

        One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction.  She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>

    One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction. She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>
  • BREAKING

    Officials: 5 dead during weekend storms, casualties may increase

    Officials: 5 dead during weekend storms, casualties may increase

    Sunday, April 30 2017 12:31 AM EDT2017-04-30 04:31:34 GMT

    Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued Saturday for multiple East Texas counties.

    More >>

    Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued Saturday for multiple East Texas counties.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly