Monday, October 29, 2012

Facebook Users Mistake Katrina-Associated Photo for Hurricane Sandy in New York? No, That's Nebraska.

Most likely, the artist who created the Hurricane Sandy picture (left) did not intend to create confusion, but the picture he or she created that shows a hurricane behind the Statue of Liberty is being mistaken on Facebook (10/29/2012) as “an amazing shot of New York today with the Frankenstorm bearing down.” Some people think it’s a real photo of Sandy, but if you look closely, you’ll notice that it looks like someone photo-shopped a Hurricane Katrina into a Liberty picture. (It's actually a photo from a 2004 storm in Nebraska.)

The Sandy Comes to Liberty photo began circulating last night. Facebook users are leaving comments with posters who've shared the picture such as "wow! amazing shot!!! Hope everyone is ok" and "You shouldn't mess with Mother Nature."

Since I started working on this post (around 12:30 p.m.) and after I left a comment telling someone who shared the photo that the picture looked like a Hurricane Katrina photo, the person who originally posted the picture left this comment beneath it:
Ok… apparently this pic has gone viral from my wall with 99,989 shares. In the last 15 minutes I have had like 200 people add me as a friend because of this pic. So I called the person who texted it to me and she then called her friend who is in New York and he told her that it was fake. So now I have 200 friends who like a photo that is fake on my wall. Funny, but awkward….
And I was even wrong about it looking like a Hurricane Katrina photo, although years ago I used the photo as a graphic to go with a Hurricane Katrina poem because someone else had posted it with Hurricane Katrina news. I do recall, though, thinking back then that the land in the photo did not look like Louisiana or Mississippi terrain. Ah, such is the digital life. Verify. Verify. Verify.

The Statue of Liberty faces southeast, so a storm coming from the southeast would not be at Liberty’s backside before reaching Jersey City, NJ, or the Big Apple. People often get excited and don't think too hard when looking at pictures in emergency weather situations. And the urge to compare Hurricane Sandy to Hurricane Katrina and other big storms seems to be strong. They're even doing it at CNN.

Whether Sandy is a Katrina or an Isaac, people in the North East should take this storm seriously. Even a Category One can do a lot of damage.

At last count, the Sandy Comes to Liberty picture had more than 155,000 shares on Facebook.

For more faked or mistaken storm photos, check out this post at Buzzfeed. Related: Meteorologist Compares Hurricane Sandy to Hurricane Katrina.

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