A poignant image of soldiers guarding the Tomb of the Unknowns in the face of Hurricane Sandy and an ominous image of the approaching storm over the Statue of Liberty were two of the top photos shared on social media sites yesterday and today. As it turns out, those photos and many other popular ones were fakes.
As the storm bore down on the Mid-Atlantic coastline yesterday, users were quick to share views of the historical storm.
One of the most shared was of a monster supercell storm approaching New York City and the Statue of Liberty. That same image resurfaces regularly when a storm is about to hit the Big Apple and is in fact a Photoshopped image of a storm taken by Mike Hollingshead and one of the statue.
One other image showing Lady Liberty being enveloped by a monstrous wave appeared to be real but was actually from the 2004 movie “The Day After Tomorrow.”
A touching image of three soldiers guarding the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in driving rain spread like wildfire. However the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division Regiment that guards the tomb debunked the image. The Old Guard said the image was actually taken in September.
Terrifying images of sharks swimming in city streets and suburban neighborhoods were common. Most of these have been widely circulated in previous hoaxes.
Other photos of a flooded McDonald’s restaurant and a diver in the New York City subway are as well fake.
Some social media users created their own parodies of the fake photos including ones that featured Godzilla, alien spaceships and other amusing creatures.
While Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites can be an important way to quickly disseminate news, the hoax photos purportedly from Hurricane Sandy clearly show users need to cast a critical eye toward what they read.