Hurricane Florence Sharkando? Photo showing shark swimming on flooded highway reemerges but it's FAKE
'Federal Emergency Management Association' is now looking to introduce a rumor-control webpage to stop fake stories about natural disasters causing unnecessary confusion, anxiety
As it deals with the devastation left behind by Hurricane Florence, FEMA is being forced coming up with a new tool to battle fake reports and false stories. The 'Federal Emergency Management Association' has revealed that it is looking to introduce a rumor-control webpage.
Professor and chair of emergency management and disaster science at the University of North Texas, Gary Webb, said that dealing with 'fake news' has become a problem when it comes to recent natural disasters. "Disasters do create a great deal of uncertainty, confusion, and anxiety. As a result, there is the potential for rumors to propagate," Webb said.
The most recent of these is the shark hoax which has been making rounds with photos of sharks swimming on highways or even falling from the sky. The rumor or 'fake news' has gotten so out of hand that the Associate Director of FEMA Jeffrey Byard was asked about it at a briefing. "There are sharks in the [surrounding] water, that's not a rumor. But, you know, I don't think there's a Sharknado effect or anything like that," he shared.
"Rumors for the sake of rumors doesn't help things," Byard continued. "That's just clouding a bandwidth that we have to cut through ...really BS... and that's not needed."
A Scottish journalist Jason Michael McCann trolled the internet with a picture of a shark on a flooded highway. The picture shows a shark swimming down a highway and the thought behind it is that the floodwaters have risen so high that sharks can make their way inland. Of course, this is completely fake and McCann himself says it.
McCann spoke to Buzzfeed last year after he tweeted an image during hurricane Harvey and said, "Of course I knew it was fake. It was part of the reason I shared the bloomin’ thing".
"We are responsible for how we receive the information we’re getting," McCann said. "If people choose to be fooled by a shark swimming by a car, I don’t think it says a great deal about me".
Even though it started as a joke for McCann's Twitter fans, he was motivated to share the picture because it is fake and says he only got into journalism as he did not trust the news that he was getting.