These fake photos of Trump saving people from Hurricane Harvey are going viral
The age of Trump has been filled with fake news. On both sides, rumors and gossip spread faster than fact. People are eager to totally dismiss Trump as a Russian agent, or support him as the second coming of God. It's lunacy. But information that confirms what people want to see spreads very easily. In an echo chamber, something that makes you nod your head makes for an easy share, regardless of whether or not it's actually true.
This photo went viral on Facebook, on a pro-Trump account called 'All about President Trump'. The post has garnered almost ten-thousand shares, but it's so obviously fake! How many people think that Trump was actually wading through dirty water with two cats in his arms?
It's amazing, isn't it? He cradles those cats with a stern look on his face and a red MAGA hat. But the giveaway is definitely his stomach. Whatever you believe of the President, his waist is just not that thin. No way it's him. Any 70 year old with that body would be a medical miracle. Not happening. Those are some cute cats though.
For the record, here's the actual photo, before the photoshop.
What a heroic guy, right? Rescuing two tabby cats, one on each shoulder. Glorious.
This hilarious photo was debunked by Snopes, featuring The Donald in his suit and tie, braving the floodwaters in a tiny raft and reaching out to personally lift people out of the waters. I'm not sure what's funnier - the full suit inside such a tiny boat, or the fact that a 70 year old man wearing such a suit is supposedly out there like a superhero saving lives.
Looks like God reaching out to touch Adam's finger, doesn't it? A regular Michelangelo painting. Surely, Donald Trump is among the most athletic men of our age. Or, as Junior Soprano would put it: "He never had the makings of a varsity athlete". It's hard to believe that anyone could think this is real. But some of Trump's supporters believe wholeheartedly that the man is a superhero.
Donald Trump at least did a lot better than George W. Bush in dealing with his hurricanes. While no one would ever actually hit the surf and go looking for people to save, the presence of the President helps recovering people feel like their country cares for them. Maybe one day some President actually will hit the waters in a raft and rescue people from the flood. But until that day, these photos are as fake as can be.
How can we stop the spread of fake news and fake images? Well, I'm not sure we can. Giving Facebook or Google the power to legislate what news or information is 'real' feels a lot like 1984 to me, and to anyone who read the book! Giving unaccountable people the power to determine fact from fiction is really spooky. Until we have a truth-council lording over us all, dealing with fake news is just one of the costs of a free society.