Fake Hurricane Photos Cascade Into Social Media

October 30th, 2012
As Hurricane Sandy approached land on Monday, social media users were desperate for the kind of drama that was shown on CNN with Anderson Cooper or FOX News with Shepard Smith. As spoofers launched their hurricane photo schemes, the sharing frenzy ensued. Over ten separate fake images went viral, passed off as current Hurricane Sandy photos. “As of 5:00 p.m. EST, there had been over 7.1 million tweets in the previous 24 hours about the storm. And that was before it made landfall.” At least for the evening of the storm and night following, the fake photos dominated over any current and real photos. Snopes.com has debunked 10 photos in the following report:
Snopes.com Debunks Hurricane Sandy Photos

Hurricane waves hitting lighthouse

Now the morning after, dozens of professional photographers have had time to release scores of authentic and striking storm watching and damage photographs. ABC currently has 131 photos in this online photo album: East Coast Hit by Superstorm Sandy

On Monday, Kevin Systrom, the founder and chief executive of Instagram told The New York Times that there were “10 pictures a second tagged with #sandy or #hurricane flowing through the service. In total, more than 230,000 images are using that hashtag”.

Adam Ray

Article By Adam Ray

Adam is an SEO during the week and a jazz musician on the weekends. With degrees in Telecommunications, Jazz Studies, and Commercial Music Production, Adam can either be found near a laptop with a cup of dark coffee, or in a jazz club or studio with saxophone in hand.

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