I heard the Sakala rumour this morning, and immediately dismissed it as nonsense. There was no need to do any checking on it. If a story like that was true you would not be reading about it first on social media posts. Some people share everything they come across, mindlessly. That’s how Qanon and other ludicrous lies end up going viral.
But the media has been writing about the story after getting Sakala to confirm that he is alive and well and not dead on some street back in his native land. Into their articles drips the poison that this is a “sick rumour” and the oblique suggestion it was football motivated.
They had better be careful with that. Remember the Morelos car-bomb bullshit which trended a couple of years back? The hacks amplified that garbage and pushed the levels of hate up a little higher. They hyped the idea – partly inspired by Ally McCoist – that Celtic fans were the ones who had torched the Ibrox team bus.
Those of us who knew better confidently predicted that nobody would ever be arrested over what reeked of a professional torch job, and nobody ever was.
The dark hints that Celtic fans started this rumour collapse when you consider that most of us don’t regard him as important enough to invent stories about, and even if we did we can do better than some rumour that he’d been murdered.
Celebrity death stories are commonplace on Twitter, mostly as a result of someone hearing that so-and-so is gone and being unable to contain themselves. They don’t all have malicious intent, some are just the result of utter halfwittery and I suspect that is all that we’re dealing with here. Trust the media to ascribe some sinister motivation to it.
Are there “Celtic fans” online gleefully spreading this stuff?
I have no doubt that there are, but does The Daily Record or anyone else really want to get down into that particular plague pit? Because we might be there all day comparing horror stories. Social media – and Twitter in particular, and especially now with the Arsehole In Chief – is a cesspit at times and there are clowns and idiots and goons in every club’s support … we are no exception.
But the press in those country behaves so recklessly at times that it almost defies belief. This one time, they ought to consider chilling things out instead of ramping them up.