Here's how to get rid of fake, viral pictures

On any social media, you’ve probably seen your fair share of viral posts, some of which are pictures. Things go viral because they are interesting, but they aren’t necessarily true; there are a load of pitiful people out there willing to fool the world (and themselves) in their pursuit of false stardom. These are misleading, annoying and often make us look past things that are truly interesting and actually true.

There’s an article on The Vane that tells the story in greater detail. Being based in the US, the example the site has used is Hurricane Patricia. Let’s take a look at some of the photos they’ve compiled.

This is a picture of Hurricane Patricia... <br> Image source: Scott Kelly / Twitter.

And this is NOT an image of Hurricane Patricia, but Typhoon Maysak, or Chedeng as it is known in the Philippines. <br> Image source: NASA.

No doubt both are beautiful images, but calling the latter Hurricane Patricia is still a lie, even if the photo is authentic. Then there are those that are just complete lies.

These are some real hailstones... <br> Image source: <a href="" target="_blank">NOAA</a>.

And this is water frozen in a water balloon trying to pass as a hailstone. <br> Image source: The Vane.

The message is simple: do a little checking before helping something go viral, lest we inadvertently help spread a lie and make someone unworthy famous.

And it is really just a little checking. If you’re using Google Chrome, just right-click an image you’re unsure of, and select “Search Google for this image.”

If it’s a popular image, the source should be right at the top of the search page. If you can’t find the source, you can still tell if the image has showed up on the web before. Check the dates to see if everything fits into place and the legitimacy of said image should be clear.

Image source: The Vane.

If you’re using another browser, you can still save the image and upload it on Google’s search page, or search via the image’s URL. It’s just another extra step to an easy verification process.

Image source: The Vane.

So there you have it. If you want to help get rid of fake viral posts, it takes only a few clicks to find out if they are complete lies, or with at least a semblance of believability.

Source: The Vane.