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."
This week, the Internet's collective bluster converged to form a single shit-cyclone over the above image, purportedly from a pedo-friendly 16 and Pregnant spinoff. Survivor advocates and slut-shamers alike agreed the fake-sounding show shouldn't be real, and by Friday the source article had been shared almost 300,000 times.
Of course, contrary to what some crudely-altered pictures would have you believe, the show isn't real. Asked about 12 and Pregnant, a network spokesperson told Gawker, "No, MTV is not developing this show." In reality, the picture comes from faux-satirists Empire News, known for such non-knee-slappers as "Coca-Cola Recalls 2 Million Bottles With The Name 'Michael'" and "Congress Approves Bill That Will Offer Free Automobiles To Welfare Recipients."
This photo, supposedly showing the canals of Venice frozen over, went viral last weekend, earning awed responses ranging from "Who wants to play hockey on this lol" to "Your mom wants to play hockey on this lol."
But as Twitter detective @PicPedant pointed out, the image is actually a long-debunked photo collage, combining this picture of Venice with this picture of a Siberian lake. Which means, sadly, no one will be playing hockey on this lol.
On Tuesday, Big American News published an article bearing the above photo, which it claimed was "the first confirmed image of a captured Ebola victim who rose from the dead." If you instantly identified this as complete horseshit, congratulations, you're more skeptical than the over 300,000 people who shared the story this week.
As I really, really, really shouldn't have to say, no, "Ebola zombies" are not a real thing. In actuality, the picture is a photoshopped frame from last year's disastrous disaster film World War Z. Below is the original image, showing Ghanian-born actress Sarah Amankwah in the movie.
When this ridiculously cute picture of a marlin fingerling showed up on the Internet last week, some people were understandably skeptical, given that a full-grown blue marlin can max out at over 15 feet and 1000 pounds.
However, according to conservation group the Billfish Foundation (who probably know a thing or two about marlin), this picture is absolutely real. Included in their explanation are relevant illustrations from 2005's Early Stages of Atlantic Fishes: An Identification Guide for the Western Central North Atlantic, which, while informative, probably won't be making the front page of Reddit anytime soon.
— CBC Radio (@cbcradio) September 25, 2014
This picture from their blog, supposedly showing a gallery of "invisible art" selling for millions of dollars, proved all too believable to critics of contemporary art. The image quickly spread through social media, receiving praise like "This is stupid. People are stupid."
In this case, however, the critics of the emperor's new clothes were themselves super naked. Below is the source photo This is That used for their mock-up, taken at a Phil Stern exhibition in 2010.