Fake photos from Sandy are circulating all around. I got one the other day sent to me by a friend who clearly did not know it was fake (the one of the soldiers guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier).
The Atlantic has an excellent (and frequently updated) story on fake photos including which ones are real and which ones fake.
But the story caught my eye because of the image of one building standing alone, brightly lit in Manhattan, while the others around are dark. Of course, the building owner would have had to have it equipped with its own back up power, which it did. Smart, no? Not if you are Goldman Sachs. And that’s who is in that nicely lit up building. Suddenly, what looks like foresight will be and is interpreted as another symbol of greed, of Wall Street excess, of not caring for the huddled masses yearning for power while the pin-stripe types keep at their work stations raking in the billions.
Sure enough, having the lights on has stirred up controversy.
Issue of fake photographs (and videos for that matter) is of increasing importance to crisis managers. Note–BP in the midst of much bigger problems had to answer why a graphic designer digitally manipulated a photo to put activity on all the monitors in an emergency center. Interestingly, I was participating in a large BP drill when I introduced into the JIC the idea that photos could be appearing on the web showing oiled birds in contradiction to the current claims–photos purported to be from the drill spill, but actually from an unrelated event. This kind of inject needs to be part of every crisis drill in my opinion.
Fake photos, doctored photos, real photos that send unintended messages. Geez, will the vulnerabilities never end?