Real Life 'Purge' Rumors Hit Louisville, Detroit, Other Cities

Social media rumors about a 'real life Purge are causing panic.

Published Aug 15, 2014

Rumors of a
mass crime spree referred to as a "real life" imitation of the film The Purge are heavily circulating on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.

According to the rumors, real life The Purge imitations are set to begin at 8 p.m. Friday until 6:30 a.m. Saturday, with one rumored for 15 August through 16 August in Louisville, Kentucky. Other cities subject to "Purge" rumors include Jacksonville, Florida, Detroit, Michigan, and Cleveland, Ohio, with at least one mentioned for later in August.

Given the virality of this rumor it's quite likely “Louisville’s the Purge” will morph into panics and whispers in other cities as the social shares generated by the story live on through Facebook and Twitter throughout the summer. “Louisville’s the Purge” has been a topic of conversation and intrigue all night, and it appears many residents are genuinely fearful such an event could come to pass. Making matters worse, the rumor has filtered into the blogosphere, along with suggestions that the "threat" is credible.

School events in and around Louisville have been canceled due to the rumor, and police have addressed fears among residents.

Louisville Metro Police Department Sgt. Phil Russell said of the fears:

A number of people have reached out to us. We're going to take any threat that we receive seriously, particularly one that encourages and incites violence against our community ... We're going to take that seriously and investigate that as thoroughly as we can. As a department, I believe that we’re adequately prepared for anything that could arise."

While it appears police are taking Purge rumors seriously in Louisville, no evidence has emerged to suggest a cause other than intense social media panic.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as back in 1994.

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