Monday, 27 August 2012

MailOnline fooled by fake Isaac photo

MailOnline reports on the progress of Tropical Storm/Hurricane Isaac:

The first photo they use to illustrate their article is certainly dramatic. But is it genuine? And is it Isaac?

They have credited it to 'Twitter/Seven_marine'. But that Twitter account has not been updated since March 2011.

A quick search of Google Images finds that photo used on many blogs before Isaac, including this one from August 2010 and this one from 2008.

According to Bay News 9:

the photo has been around for many years and seems to pop up every time a severe weather situation arises.

"It is a Photoshopped picture of a supercell thunderstorm that seems to pop up with a new foreground every time there is a hurricane threat anywhere," Bay News 9 Meteorologist Josh Linker said.

"I've seen versions of that photo since at least 2005," Bay News 9 Meteorologist Brian McClure added.

Yet, according to the caption on 'newspaper website of the year' MailOnline, the photo is:

Ominous: Tropical storm Isaac gathers pace as it barrels towards the Gulf coast, where it is expected to hit by Wednesday - the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

Journalist Jonathan Haynes says:

Cannot believe how many news websites see something on Twitter and publish it without basic checks on its validity. Utterly depressing. 

(Hat-tip to Jonathan Haynes).

UPDATE: MailOnline updated their article and removed the fake photo at 7.11pm, less than an hour after a link to the above was posted on Twitter. 


  1. And it's only a category two, so why they put it in capitals I don't know. One is the lowest level hurricane not the highest.

  2. Lol, I have seen this picture so many times, It has been so many hurricanes, tornadoes, mudslides, mass forrest fires, blizzards...I can't even keep count. LOL


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

Comments are moderated - generally to filter out spam and comments wishing death on people - but other messages will be approved as quickly as possible.