09 radio broadcastAt this moment two of the deadliest words that can be uttered or typed are "I heard ..."

Eighty-two years ago, Orson Welles did a radio broadcast, a dramatization of H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds," that had thousands convinced Martians had landed in New Jersey and the world was ending.

People took up arms and needlessly threatened each other and some almost committed suicide rather than be incinerated by a Martian ray gun.

And this was many years before social media, which has turned anyone with a smartphone and working fingers into a person with their own internet megaphone.

If you hear something or see something suspicious, check it out with the authorities.

If you must share with friends, do it by private message before stirring a wider panic. Resist the urge to go back in time to 1938 and tell folks the Martians have landed. Be cautious. Be vigilant. But most importantly, be responsible.

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