Fake Photo on Facebook Mocks Trump
USA — September 26, 2018
A fake image of Donald Trump assisting a man marooned by a flood caused by Hurricane Florence has gone viral on Facebook.
The image shows Trump wearing a suit on board a dingy handing a red 'Make America Great Again' cap to a man stranded in flood waters.
New York Times reporter Kevin Roose pointed out on Twitter that the photograph is fake and was taken in Central Texas in 2015, long before Trump was elected president, and he definitely wasn’t in that raft.
A photoshopped picture depicting Trump rescuing people during Hurricane Florence has been shared 275,000 times on Facebook. The original is from Texas flooding in 2015. pic.twitter.com/woWuPuqSSy— Kevin Roose (@kevinroose) September 24, 2018
And as it always happens, fake news spreads faster and wider than true news. The photograph has been shared more than 275,000 times on Facebook.
Roose said he is unable to figure out how can Facebook allow such an obviously fake photograph to exist and spread on its platform.
The original fake image was created as a protest against Trump by Twitter users @USMCLiberal and @jessicaartspace in August 2017 to highlight how the president had treated Hurricane Harvey at a campaign rally.
BIG THANKS to @jessicaartspace for putting together this amazing meme. Flawless work, Jess! Thank you!!!— A Liberal Marine (@USMCLiberal) August 30, 2017
The actual photograph can be found on CNN’s website and shows three rescuers with the Austin Fire Department reaching out to help a man clinging to a chain-link fence.
The online fact-checking website Snopes pointed out that it is actually easy to figure out that the photo is a fake because Trump isn’t wearing a life vest, an act very unlikely during a dangerous flood rescue operation. It also said that presidents generally do not personally take part in rescue operations after disasters.
In addition, a MAGA cap would probably be the least helpful thing for someone stuck in such a situation.
Given that the photo was created to show Trump in a bad light, the sudden surge in its popularity after Hurricane Florence shows that Trump haters are at work again to malign the president. Also, given how quick and pro-active Facebook usually is to remove fake images and block people who spread them, the popularity of this photograph again proves beyond doubt Facebook’s affinity for Trump haters, as evident also from the comments made by its leadership after President Trump got elected.
The appearance of the fake photo, at a time when Trump’s popularity seems to be rising, is certainly an attempt to lampoon the Trump administration.