Don’t be fooled by fake hurricane footage this summer

It’s hurricane season in the Americas, and this year it’s a big one. But for some reason, fake footage is being posted online.

Proving once again that you can’t trust everything you see online, videos of violent winds have been making the rounds on social media, claiming to show Hurricane Irma’s devastating landfall in Barbuda. There’s only one problem — that footage has been online for more than a year already.

If you were already fooled by this hoax, don’t feel too bad. After all, it does look a lot like what you’d expect from hurricane winds, and why would you expect anyone to bother posting fake footage of an ongoing storm? It’s hard to see a motive for that one. But then again, this is the internet we’re talking about.

Here’s the original footage that ended up being shared under the false claim that it showed Hurricane Irma:

The fake news was plausible enough to fool more than half a million people, including at least one meteorologist (who later corrected her embarrassing mistake). And you can see why it fooled a lot of people

Here’s another guy who fell for it, and spread the fake news to Twitter, where it was widely re-shared again on a whole new social media platform:

So if that’s not Hurricane Irma, what is it exactly? Well, according to some intrepid online sleuths, it actually shows not hurricane footage but rather tornado footage. And it’s not Barbuda in 2017; it’s Uruguay in 2016.

Keep in mind that most people who saw these posts will never find out that they’ve been fooled, unless they happen to see an article like this one. So share this! And other posts like this one. That’s the best antidote to fake news: when people realize they’ve been duped, hopefully they’ll be a little more careful in the future.

And if you’d like to know a bit more about these hurricanes from a non-fake news source, check out this informative meteorologist, who does a good job of explaining what’s been happening: