Social media is a wonderful way to connect with friends and loved ones and to share information with others.

Unfortunately, social media can also be used to spread rumors and disinformation that are potentially injurious and even dangerous to others.

Such was the case in Imlay City on Friday, Oct. 7. when the local rumor mill ran amok with inaccurate and unsubstantiated hearsay.

Some of the erroneous information circulated indicated that a male teen had been holed up in Imlay City, that shots had been fired and that a police officer had been shot.

One can only imagine the fear and anguish felt by the boy’s family members and the wives and families of local police officers after seeing or hearing such information on social media.

In reality, a 15-year-old Romeo boy had run away from home after being released from a mental health facility. After returning home, the boy reportedly set out walking north from Romeo toward Imlay City, where Michigan State Police located and transported him to the Imlay City Police Department, where he was later returned to the custody of his parents

This incident exemplifies how circulating rumors on social media can impact lives in ways that can potentially have unintended consequences.