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Dear online ‘detectives’, Nicola Bulley’s disappearance isn’t your chance at going viral

An influencer was arrested last week for travelling to film the location Nicola went missing

The tragic disappearance of 45-year-old Nicola Bulley has had so much attention over the last few weeks. Her story has been shared everywhere from real life to online. But police and Nicola’s family have voiced concern for the growing interests around her tragic case. According to authorities, there have been a scary amount of armchair detectives and conspiracy theorists hypothesising and sleuthing on social media to the extent it’s been described as harmful and last week, one of them was arrested.

Last week, Lancashire police issued a 48-hour dispersal order for the village to close where Nicola went missing by the River Wyre. This was down to the hundreds of people turning up to the scene as though it was a movie set. One group of men travelled to the area in order to search for an abandoned house and live-stream their search for Nicola. Even on Facebook there are multiple groups sharing dozens of “leads” a day. Not to mention the spike in Google search there is for Nicola Bulley, her husband, the river, an abandoned house, a glove and people hunting for Reddit threads about her disappearance.

TikToker Dan Duffy was arrested after travelling to film in the village Nicola Bulley was last seen. The news followed the lead investigator in the case slamming amateur sleuths coming to the area and acting as “wannabe detectives.” Dan Duffy, from Darwen, was detained by police on Friday on a public order offence and issued a fine. Video footage of the arrest was uploaded to YouTube by Dan himself on his channel Exploring with Danny, which has well over 200,000 subscribers.

There are Facebook groups dedicated to sharing ‘leads’ in Nicola’s case

The Facebook groups are too much, just last week Nicola’s friends condemned “vile” theories which were spreading online. This one group has over 32,000 members and it’s full of people sharing their advice, calling out to Nicola Bulley telling her to come home. The group itself is branded with the hashtag “Come home Nikki,” they have shortened her name as if they know her.

Another person shared their theory about Nicola’s disappearance in a huge post which has caused even more speculation in the comment section.

via Facebook

People are obsessed with Nicola having mental health issues

The armchair detectives were lapping it up yesterday during a press conference when the police issued a statement claiming Nicola is a “high-risk” missing person due to having vulnerabilities. Immediately people started searching for them, scouring all parts of the internet to try and pin down exactly what her vulnerabilities were.

The group of people who are obsessed with true crime are dangerous. From podcasts to Reddit threads – people are dedicated to cases they convince themselves they can solve. True crime nature has made people feel entitled to forcing their way in on cases. Crowd-sourcing theories and attempting to throw leads out online in hopes they will solve the case. But they won’t, obviously.

Anyone with information which could assist the investigation should call 101 quoting log 0565 of January 30th, or for immediate sightings please call 999

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