Hurricane Pix: Real or Fake?

From Erin:

Sorting the Real Sandy Photos From the Fakes
by Alexis Madrigal
The Atlantic
October 29 2012

With Hurricane Sandy approaching the New York metro area, the nation’s eyes are turning to its largest city. Photos of storms and flooding are popping up all over Twitter, and while many are real, some of them — especially the really eye-popping ones — are fake.

This post, which will be updated over the next couple of days, is an effort to sort the real from the unreal. It’s a photograph verification service, you might say, or a pictorial investigation bureau. If you see a picture that looks fishy, send it to me at alexis.madrigal[at] If you like this sort of thing, you should also visit, which is just cataloging the fakes.

The fakes come in three varieties: 1) Real photos that were taken long ago, but that pranksters reintroduce as images of Sandy, 2) Photoshopped images that are straight up fake, and 3) The combination of the first two: old, Photoshopped pictures being trotted out again.


This image of NYC — and of, yes, a double rainbow — made the rounds on social media this morning. (It was helped along by a Facebook post from none other than George Takei.)

And … it’s legit! The image is an Instragram dated this morning. It was taken by Kurt Wilberding, a professional photographer who shoots for the Wall Street Journal.

You can see other takes on the same rainbow scene, also dated this morning, at the Mild Amusements Tumblr.

Less legit, unfortunately, is this wondrous image.

You so want it to be real … but it is not. Or, at least, it’s not real when it comes to Sandy. The image, best we can tell, dates from December 2011. It was taken in the Philippines during Tropical Storm Washi.

Here, on the other hand, is one you don’t want to be real … but it is.

See the rest of this article here.