The Daily Mail unpublished a fake photo purporting to be of Isaac, Tabloid Watch reported. The photo, which Tabloid Watch dated back as early as 2008, was published with an August 24 article on the storm, which is headed for the Gulf Coast..
When iMediaEthics checked out the Daily Mail’s website at 8:15 PM EST last night, the photo didn’t appear to be up anymore. There was no note or correction either. We’ve written to the Daily Mail for more information and will update with any response.
The photo carried the caption that “Ominous: Tropical storm Isaac gathers pace as it barrels towards the Gulf coast, where it is expected to hit by Wednesday – the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina,” according to Tabloid Watch.
Tabloid Watch pointed to Florida TV news Bay News 9, which quoted its meteorologist Brian McClure as saying he’s “seen versions of that photo since at least 2005” and another one of its meteorologists, Josh Linker, as saying the photo “is a Photoshopped picture of a supercell thunderstorm that seems to pop up with a new foreground every time there is a hurricane threat anywhere,”
Seattle’s KIRO-TV added that the cloud pictured in the phony photo is “a shelf cloud, a phenomenon commonly seen around typical thunderstorms” and “tropical systems…rarely produce sufficiently cold air to produce a shelf cloud formation.”
We wrote earlier this year when BuzzFeed unpublished “several” fake photos purporting to be of tornadoes in Texas. Last year, news outlets including the Miami Herald published a doctored photo that Photoshopped a picture of a shark from 2005’s Africa Geographic into a flooded street. That shark was later apparently doctored into photos of floodwaters in Florida in July of this year. (Lest we forget while discussing Photoshopped pictures of sharks, in June, a fake photo circulated with sharks swimming in a flooded Canadian subway stop.)
In 2011, a fake photo that put a tornado in a picture of a Cincinnati mall went viral. In 2010, Time magazine ran a 1976 photo with its 2010 storm coverage. And in 2009, an Alabama meteorologist, Dan Satterfield, asked readers to stop sending Photoshopped weather photos around.
Check out all our media ethics stories on weather.