You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe

Opinion

Editorial

Mum’s the wrong word in MIT gunman hoax

Officials at MIT had good reason to question why the school put out information so slowly after a report last week of a man armed with a rifle and dressed in armor on campus. The report turned out to be a hoax that is now under investigation. But MIT’s delay was disturbing — especially in an era when fragmentary information gets around at lightning speed.

At around 7:30 a.m. last Saturday, Cambridge police received an electronic message about a gunman . The police quickly tweeted an alert, and Twitter exploded with reports of the threat. What was missing for more than an hour was clear information from the university itself. At 8:52 a.m., MIT’s campus emergency messaging system finally sent out a text message, telling the MIT community that multiple law enforcement agencies were on campus “in response to a report of a person with a gun on campus.” At 9:05 a.m., MIT’s official Twitter account tweeted about the situation.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week