The Internet exists, as does Hurricane Florence. The inevitable result? An ever-growing number of online hoaxes about the dangerous storm, hoping to virally spread the good intentions of people trying to find and share the latest information.
We have been here before. As in the past, Intersect keeps a list of unconfirmed rumors, hoaxes and other misinformation about Florence as the storm approaches the east coast. And please, if you see something that is not in the mail, you can send it to us.
Look at this list, you mighty and desperate.
SHARKS SHARKS SHARKS
** takes a deep breath **
Shark hoaxes are so common in natural disasters with floods that their circulation has become a meme. And yet those who are not constantly online seem to fall for these counterfeits every time they storm. Florence seems to be no exception.
A fake television picture allegedly showing that Florence contains "now sharks" began to circulate earlier this week. The picture is almost identical to one that generated tens of thousands of shares online during Hurricane Irma. Although some who circulate this fake image know clearly that it is a joke, not everyone seems to understand; Snopes has already posted a fact check.
The picture is from a pretty well-known fake TV generator, Break Your Own News. Usually, the image bears a salient watermark indicating the source (as seen in the picture above in this article), but some have blurred it before splitting.
It also does not help if some of those who share the picture are themselves journalists.
We attacked Hartman, whose biography identifies him as a "Freelance News Photojournalist" to comment on his decision to share this hoax. His answer:
He then deleted the tweet. Anyway. Do not share shark images of doubtful origin.
This, by Harvey in 2017, is also fake and is repackaged and shared by every hurricane. So pay attention to that too.
Do not put your valuables in the dishwasher
A copy-paste meme already offers a long list of hurricane tips Thousands of stocks on Facebook, and it could give good advice. But it also contains some very wrong information.
First, no matter what you read on Facebook, do not store your valuables in a dishwasher to protect them.
The viral article advises that "anything that you want to try to conserve but can not take is put in a plastic container and placed in the dishwasher to lock the door – so it should be watertight in case of a fall Your house. "The Post Council was picked up by several news agencies this week.
As with other hurricane misinformation, this advice has previously been viral. During the 2017 Irma, a post that had a similar idea was shared more than a million times. However there Buzzfeed reported In 2017 rinsing companies do not recommend this. The Tampa Bay Times called on a dishwashing company to also inquire into this myth, and they confirmed that dishwashers do not lock out the water during a flood.
It makes sense that people think that a dishwasher is waterproof – after all, it seems to keep water running. But those who have tried this tip in the past have been disappointed.
Do not shoot the hurricane, he's not afraid of your weapons
More than 30,000 people attended a Facebook event that tried to shoot cannons in Florence to drive off the storm from Richmond. The event is clearly not serious and carries a disclaimer from its organizer: "In fact, do not really throw firearms in. You could kill someone and you can not scare a hurricane, I can not believe I really have to write that."
The Facebook group is one of several who wink at ideas for stopping in Florence. One, nicknamed "Aunt Flo" for menstruation, suggests tamping in the storm.
But in the past, law enforcement agencies have had to make it clear that shooting for a hurricane, even in frustration or jesting, is not a good idea.
Ryan Stumpf, organizer of the Facebook event, said in a direct message that the group was "100 percent satire".
"Humor has long been a way to deal with stress, and it is no different, with the serious nature of this storm and the uncertainty of where / when / if it would cause a landfall, this stress intensified, and this event has never been anything else as a joke, "he wrote. There are more than 100,000 people who are either "going" or "interested" in the event and maybe millions more people have seen it, I am sure there are people who are disturbed who might believe that shooting at a big cloud might cause it, but the vast majority of "participants" know that it is only an excuse to make memes and laugh at the absurdity of everything.
People in the group also gave advice in preparation for the arrival of Florence, remarked Stumpf.
If someone were inspired by his group to shoot a hurricane, Stumpf added, assuming they were "legally entitled to own and have access to the said firearm," then "their decisions are their own own. "
The whole "shooting at a hurricane" is, frankly, in the same category with fears about eating Tide Pods: The idea tends to go much viral than the actual act. But given the potential dangers of blindfooting a bullet into a natural disaster, it's worth pointing out that you should not try to scare the hurricane with your small arms. You will not hurt Florence and you could hurt a real person.