deborah petersen.social media editor.writer.guide

Unraveling Social Media One Tool at a Time

Fake Hurricane Sandy photos, a cautionary tale


You’d think that Hurricane Sandy would be producing enough dramatic images for photographs to shoot for folks not to make things up. But, already plenty of fake and incorrect photographs have been popping up. Below, according to the Washington Post and CBS News, is the correct photo of the guards in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Another photo, widely circulated on Facebook, depicts the guards standing in the pouring, windswept rain. That photo, the Washington Post reported, was shot on another day, at another time. I will not post it here, but go on Facebook and you will see if everywhere. Another photograph being widely posted is one that people should have spotted as fake from the start. It depicts a huge hurricane cloud descending on the statue of liberty in New York.  It is quite dramatic, but it fails the first test of determining fakes: Does it look to good to be true? If so, it probably is. In this case, there is a storm cloud, a fading moon or sun in the background, and a boat in the forefront motoring along in calm waters. In other words, there are too many contradictions in this photo. This one was easy to figure out, but the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a little more tricky. Check sources, check dates, check the actual weather, before posting or re-posting such iconic shots.  Here’s an CBS story about the photo: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-34222_162-57542139/despite-sandy-soldiers-guard-tomb-of-unknown-soldier/

Also, the Washington Post showed the correct one in a Storify

Here are some great tips from Mandy Jenkins and Craig Silverman for detecting fake photos, and part of a training we do at the Bay Area News Group

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This entry was posted on October 29, 2012 by in Uncategorized.
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