Torrential rain turns Burning Man festival into muddy mess
CBC English / VideoElephant
News of Burning Man attendees being stuck at the festival due heavy rain and mud had resulted in various conspiracy theories about the situation being spread across social media.
As people try to get out of Black Rock City, the temporary community created in the middle of Black Rock Desert, Nevada, users on social media have begun speculating about what may be occurring.
Over the weekend, a storm of misinformation took over the internet. From suggestions that an Ebola outbreak had occurred at Burning Man, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are airdropping MREs, the event has been declared a national emergency, and the national guard is coming.
But now, some are claiming that there have been reports of cannibalism at the festival as food supplies dwindle.
Organisers of the festival told attendees to “conserve food and water” in a Tweet/X posted by an associated account on Sunday whilst the gate in and out of the festival remained closed.
The Gate and airport in and out of Black Rock City remain closed. Ingress and egress are halted until further notice. No driving is permitted except emergency vehicles. If you are in BRC, conserve food, water, and fuel, and shelter in a warm, safe space. More updates to come.
— Burning Man Traffic (@Burning Man Traffic)
The isolation and lack of signal at the location has caused false reports of cannibalism to spread on social media.
A satirical post to the subreddit r/BurningMan by user SunDiegoSurfer titled “Unconfirmed Reports of Cannibalism”, appeared to joke about authorities telling festival goers “if your food source has been exhausting, cannibalism should be used as a last resort.”
A Tweet/X seemingly intended to be a joke that stated “we’re hearing about the first reports of Cannibalism at the Burning Man event”, has resulted in some apparently believing it to be true.
Yooo no way but also wouldn\u2019t be surprised
— Carlos Noe Saavedra (@Carlos Noe Saavedra)
People have also been sharing false tweets to make them seem like they are coming from the official Burning Man account:
Now why on earth would an organization even bother to answer the rumor\u2026 unless it is true. If these people do not get rescued out of Blackrock City Burning Man camp ground before food and water run out cannibalism will happen.
There have in fact been no reports of cannibalism at the festival, one person has been confirmed dead although details and the identity of the victim have not been released to the public, although Burning Man Communications said in a statement that it was “unrelated to the weather”.