As is the case with many tragedies, details are short and speculation is long in the aftermath yesterday's Malaysia Airlines crash, creating ideal conditions for the spread of viral bullshit. So which of the photos currently racing through social media are authentic and which are just opportunistic fakes? Read our rundown below.
As previously covered by our friends at Gizmodo's Factually, this photo—one of the first depictions of the crash site to go online—is completely fake. In reality, the picture is a screenshot from Lost that some asshole photoshopped his watermark and the Malaysia Airlines logo onto, as you can see below:
Before boarding MH17 yesterday, Dutch musician Cor Schilder—known in his home of Volendam as Cor Pan—posted this photo with a caption that translates as "If the plane disappears, this is what it looks like," apparently referencing the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The bitterly ironic nature of his post caused it to quickly go viral, but some doubted its authenticity, as the pictured plane appears to bear the letters "RC" on the landing bay doors, the aircraft registration suffix of a different plane entirely. Sadly, Dutch news outlets confirmed this morning that Schilder and his girlfriend Neeltje were indeed on the doomed flight, with friends and neighbors in Volendam already publicly mourning the couple.
Pictures of this supposed Malaysia Airlines ad first popped up after the disappearance of MH370, but started to spread online again following yesterday's disaster. As many noted back in March, the fake ad doesn't depict a 777 at all, but one of the Airbus A380s recently added to the airline's fleet. As you can see below, the source of the manipulated image is an advertisement for the A830 that doesn't bear the ironic slogan:
Yesterday, Twitter users posted this image supposedly showing a young girl named Amy before boarding MH17 for her "first vacation ever." Luckily, Twitterer @CedJLo was able to debunk the hoax picture before it spread very far, using a reverse image search to source the photo to a blog post titled "Flying with Kids" from over two years ago.