(IB HOME REMEDIES) — Natural disasters are dramatic enough, and yet every time one hits, the Internet lights up with years-old pictures, out-of-context videos and, inevitably, the mascot of all fake social media posts: road shark.
If you don’t know what road shark is, it’s an image of a shark swimming on a flooded highway that rears its Photoshopped head every time there’s a hurricane or major water-related event. The image, of course, is fake.
Believe it or not, this is a shark on the freeway in Houston, Texas. #HurricaneHarvy
But why do fake posts get shared, time after time, disaster after disaster? There are a few reasons.
1. People have been trained to believe
Some people sometimes trip over one sticky notion: if it’s on the internet, it must be true.
“We’ve all been trained to assume that what we see published must have gone through some set of filters and authentication,” says David Weinberger, an internet and technology expert and senior researcher at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center.