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As Virus Cases Rise, So Does Snitching

Neighbors are tattling on other neighbors amid COVID-19 pandemic
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2020 12:09 PM CDT

(Newser) Time calls it "a snitching epidemic." Slate calls it "when petty neighbors become the social distancing police." Others think it's precisely what is needed. As the coronavirus pandemic ravages the globe, neighbors are increasingly tattling on neighbors or local businesses violating social distancing rules. The AP rounds up a number of stories of businesses—bars, a yoga studio, a golf course—that were forcibly shut down, cited, or even saw owners arrested after someone informed the cops they were violating orders for non-essential businesses. And it notes that in some cities, authorities are actually patrolling the streets, neighborhoods, parks, or recreational areas on the lookout for violators. More on the COVID-19 tattletale phenomenon:

  • Social media: At Slate, Heather Schwedel specifically calls out NextDoor and local Facebook groups, where posts wondering if "anything can be done" about groups of kids playing have become commonplace. The Washington Post also noted increased "shaming" on NextDoor, though both the Post and the New York Times say people have been offering up help on the site, too.

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