Burning Man Festival Flooding Sparks Rumors, Misinformation
Flooding that left attendees of the Burning Man festival stranded in the Nevada desert over the weekend resulted in numerous rumors circulating online.
For Context: The Burning Man festival is an annual event held on a campsite located on the Black Rock Desert playa, an evaporated lake bed, around 150 miles north of Reno. Storms and flooding in the area caused road conditions to deteriorate on account of mud, leading officials to urge festival attendees to “shelter in place.” One person has reportedly died during what the Pershing County Sheriff's Office called a “rain event.”
Details: A post that circulated online over the weekend claimed that the “shelter in place” notice was in response to an Ebola outbreak at the festival. A doctored image of a supposed social media post from the CDC echoed this. Claims also circulated that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was at Burning Man in response to the supposed virus outbreak. The festival organizers stated Sunday, “The online rumors of transmissible illnesses in Black Rock City [the Burning Man festival site] are unfounded and untrue.” Additionally, FEMA spokesperson Jeremy Edwards stated, “No FEMA personnel or assets have been deployed to the Burning Man festival and there are no requests from local or state authorities for our assistance.”
How the Media Covered It: The chaos at the Burning Man festival was a top story across the spectrum and on social media over the weekend. The false claims spread on social media and were refuted in outlets.
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From the RightBurning Man lifts lockdown as thousands of concertgoers begin exodus from Nevada desert
Thousands of attendees of the Burning Man counterculture music festival are beginning to leave the northern Nevada desert after floods left concertgoers stranded for days.
Officials announced that the virtual lockdown was lifted on Monday afternoon local time after a weekend of rain and mud prevented attendees from leaving the concert venue. Storms rolled in, resulting in impassable roads and over a 5-mile hike to leave the area.
Sgt. Nathan Carmichael from the Pershing County Sheriff’s Office said that he didn't believe many people would stay for the festival's customary...
From the LeftBurning Man flooding triggers false claims of Ebola outbreak, ‘national emergency’
CLAIM: Officials confirmed an Ebola outbreak at the Burning Man festival in Nevada, where a national emergency was declared.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Federal health officials told The Associated Press they have not received any reports of Ebola cases at the event. A screenshot of a supposed post from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirming such cases was fabricated. And while flooding prompted road closures and left attendees stranded, there is no record of a national emergency being declared.
THE FACTS: A summer storm left muddy roads flooded in...
From the CenterIs FEMA at Burning Man? Virus Outbreak Conspiracy Theory Spreads Online
After the Burning Man festival was hit by freak flooding that left attendees stranded at the Nevada desert campsite, wild conspiracy theories have emerged online claiming that the site was now subject to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance due to a virus outbreak.
Some have claimed that festivalgoers had contracted Ebola—a disease that emerged in central Africa—despite one local nurse who attended the festival denying it was the case.
The festival is held on the Black Rock Desert playa, an evaporated lake bed, around 150 miles north of Reno....