Forward or Delete: This Week's Fake Viral Photos

Occasionally, against all odds, you'll see an interesting or even enjoyable picture on the Internet. But is it worth sharing, or just another Photoshop job that belongs in the digital trash heap? Check in here and find out if that viral photo deserves an enthusiastic "forward" or a pitiless "delete."

Image via Imgur


DELETE

Forward or Delete: This Week's Fake Viral Photos

This image of a "real life dragon" popped up on social media this week, shared by generic "cool photo" accounts like @omgWorldImages and @SciencePx. But as the indispensable PicPedant pointed out, this picture isn't just fake, it's also super old.

CBC debunked the digital gecko/bat composite over a year ago, tracing the picture to the Reddit group /r/HybridAnimals. Below is the still plenty impressive original photograph, showing the lizard known (in real life!) as the satanic leaf-tailed gecko.

Forward or Delete: This Week's Fake Viral Photos

Images via Imgur/Imgur


FORWARD

Forward or Delete: This Week's Fake Viral Photos

Given the Internet's love of bullshit palette-swapped animals, it was easy to believe the above photo was fake when it hit Reddit this week, but this electric blue lobster is completely real.

Caught earlier this month by a 14-year-old lobsterwoman, NBC reports the one-in-two million chromatic mutant has been donated to Maine State Aquarium, where it will live out up to 80 years of obvious Tobias Fünke jokes.

Image via Imgur


DELETE

Forward or Delete: This Week's Fake Viral Photos

I can't believe I even have to say this, but no, this photo of Beyoncé and Tupac isn't real.

On Thursday, garbage "satire" site Huzlers.com published a story titled "After Nearly 18 Years, Tupac Shakur Now 43, Comes Out Of Hiding!" Illustrated with the above picture, many took this as solid proof that Shakur—not unlike the rose that grew from concrete—had risen. By Saturday almost 200,000 people had shared the article on Facebook.

As you may have suspected, the picture is just a crude cut-and-paste job. Here you can see the original photo from the 2009 MTV EMAs, featuring Jay-Z's much more appropriately proportioned head.

Image via YouTube


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Like the last photo, this fake comes from a confusingly joke-free "satire" story many mistook for real news. On Wednesday, the Daily Currant ran this picture with their article "Georgia Legalizes Handgun Vending Machines," which features (among other red flags) a quote from NRA spokesman "Elmer Fudd."

In reality, this photo comes from an ad campaign by South Africa's Gun Control Alliance. In its original, un-cropped iteration, the poster reads "This is how easy it is to get hold of a gun in South Africa."


UNDETERMINED

Forward or Delete: This Week's Fake Viral Photos

So far, Antiviral's crack research team has been unable to definitively prove whether this tweet is real, fake, or if it even matters. Here are the facts:

  • It doesn't appear on X's timeline.
  • It just as easily could have been deleted.
  • It sure doesn't sound like DMX.
  • Neither does his top tweet, a "Keep Calm and Carry On" meme.
  • This joke, with the exact same phrasing, appeared on Tumblr almost a year ago.
  • If the joke was stolen, that's motive enough for deleting it.

In the end you'll just have to decide for yourself. X isn't gonna give ya everything.

Image via Twitter


Antiviral is a new blog devoted to debunking online hoaxes. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.