It says a lot about the times we live in that we can't trust the news we get from our computers-- or our televisions.
I feel terrible saying things like I wish I was in the path of the hurricane right now, not simply to have an excuse for not working but to prove the flooding is even as severe as everyone is claiming, but well, those are the times we're living in. Sure, I trust my friends not to exaggerate for effect, but the average person? If the photos coming out of Sandy are any indication, the average person is looking to have a little fun by creating a "Panic! PANIC!" scenario. And with today's technology, that is easier than ever.
See, in order to keep the 24-hour news coverage on Hurricane Sandy going, networks and outlets from The Weather Channel to CNN to local affiliates rely upon images taken "from the streets" of the affected area. Without a team on the ground at any given location individually, it becomes nearly impossible to actually fact check the validity of these images, and so you will find a lot of (amazingly well-done) photoshopped ones floating around the internet, that then end up on television newscasts. The intention of the creator of the photo may not have been to dupe the nation, but by appropriating it on a national platform, that ends up exactly what happens.
Looking at some of the most jaw-dropping photos I have seen this afternoon and evening, I hate myself for judging their realness, but I'd feel like a fool to take them at face value when any ten year old with a MacBook can manipulate images better than this. Everything from the color of the sky to the size of the waves can be altered for effect. And in many cases have proven to be so today. Why do you have to prove my cynical ass right, internet?
Yes, it says a lot about the times we live in...and why I hate them.
(for the record, photos 2, amazingly 3, and 6 have not yet been proven fake)