MADISON (NEWS CENTER Maine) – Social media can be a powerful tool to keep us in touch with family, friends, and with what’s going on in the world.
It can also be a strong weapon.
For a personal and scary example – just ask a man named John Williams.
He’s not the man police are looking for, and his no involvement in the murder of Corporal Eugene Cole of Somerset County. “Nothing to do with it,” he explained. “Never met the [other John Williams] in my life.”
He felt pure shock when he turned the news on Wednesday morning. “Oh my God,” he said when he saw his own name on the TV. But it wasn’t him they were looking for – it was a 29-year-old with the same name.
“Then the phone started ringing and it didn’t stop all day long,” Williams explained.
He’s received comments on his Facebook page by the hundreds. People wished for him to rot in prison. They wished for him to die. They threatened harm on his family.
Here’s the thing: this John Williams is a 74-year-old retired mill worker who has lived in Madison his whole life.
“He is a loving, diehard family man,” said his granddaughter Ashley Paquette. “He’s got the utmost respect for military, police forces.”
She spent the last day trying to convince people they have the wrong guy. “It had my adrenaline through the roof,” she said.
She warns people to research before they become keyboard warriors. “Just don’t accuse people until you know the facts.”