RCMP in Whitehorse are asking people to be more responsible with their use of social media after a false rumour about sexual assaults in the city took flight this week.

Messages on sites like Twitter and Facebook were warning women to be careful because of a string of sexual assaults, information that was false, according to RCMP spokesperson Don Rogers.

He said social media sites need to be used responsibly because spreading false information can have a negative impact.

“It discourages other victims of crime from coming forward and we certainly don’t want to see that happen,” he said. “And for people who have reported sexual offences or people who have reported serious crimes, to have false information circulating re-victimizes those people again, and this is very, very concerning.”

Rogers said reports of 47 or 49 unsolved sexual assault cases in Whitehorse this summer are incorrect.

He said since May, there have been 29 reported cases, four in the last week.

RCMP say they will continue to investigate unsolved cases, and women's groups in the city have spoken with police and will continue to offer safety advice.

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/story/2011/10/27/north-whitehorse-assault-rumour.html?cmp=rss