This is not how you'd expect Snapchat, the self-destructing image-sharing app, to get college kids into trouble: many underage students at the University of Virginia dumped their beer and spirits because of a social media hoax on Monday afternoon. The UVA student paper The Cavalier Daily reports that on Monday afternoon, a freshman named Meredith Markwood received a Snapchat photo of a friend — who wishes to remain anonymous — waiting at the university's police station, accompanied by a warning about the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, which polices underage drinking on campus: "ABC is conducting dorm sweeps and they found a beer in my common room."
As documented by Post Local, like a panicked clan of meerkats who spotted a hawk overhead, students put the call out on Twitter (eventually giving rise to the hashtag #UVAdormsearch) which prompted a purge of illicit alcoholic beverages. As one heavily-favorited tweet put it, "The current BAC of the dumpster: 5.6." Only after sending it to others did Markwood realize that her anonymous friend's warning was in jest: "Though Markwood told her friends immediately after learning she had been tricked, the power of social media had given the rumor a life of its own," writes The Cavalier Daily, which described the scene on campus as a "school-wide chaos."