*We guess we can put this in the “fake news” category because it didn’t happen. We’re referring to a photo of former President Barack Obama serving meals to folks in Houston.
The phony photo of Mr. Obama supposedly being in Houston in the wake of Hurricane Harvey has been shared who knows how many thousands of times via social media, but the reality is that the pic is two years old and was taken at a homeless shelter in Washington during Thanksgiving.
The photograph, now nearing iconic status, was spread via Twitter on Saturday with the text “Something you’ll never see Trump do: Obama is in Texas serving meals!” As of Monday morning it had more than 7,000 retweets, reports CNN.
When other tweeters called the poster out on the error, he replied, “Sorry for people thinking this was in texas (he was there) but this is from 2015.” A representative for Obama told CNN the former president was not in Texas.
When contacted by CNN on Monday, the person who originally posted the tweet said they had deleted it.
While a lot of people wish it were true that he was there helping out, he did tweet a link to the American Red Cross on Sunday encouraging people to help.
Thank you to all the first responders and people helping each other out. That’s what we do as Americans. Here’s one way you can help now. https://t.co/iGfE8rAoAu
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 27, 2017
And if someone shares misinformation about Obama, you can best believe someone else is spreading other kinds of foolishness. To find an example we didn’t have to look very far. Some social media users are sharing pictures purporting to show sharks swimming in Houston’s flood waters. The pictures are not from Houston and some of them have been digitally manipulated.
— Jason Michael (@Jeggit) August 28, 2017
Because it’s easy to spread mischief online, you can believe local government agencies in the area are working hard to tackle rumors. For instance, Houston’s Office of Emergency Management tweeted on Sunday that the city was not shutting off water. In Corpus Christi, officials dismissed a rumor circulating on Facebook that people were not being allowed to re-enter the city.