Fake tornado images on social media raise concerns about misinformation online

BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) – On Tuesday, the remnants of Hurricane Ida spawned two EF-1 tornadoes in Montgomery County, one several miles southeast of Radford and the other just northwest from Merrimac.

While the threat of severe weather was real, some alleged images of the two tornadoes circulating on social media were far from the truth.

Some fake picture posters may find it fun to spread misinformation, but meteorologist Phil Hysell of the National Weather Service in Blacksburg says it’s no laughing matter.

False images can put others at risk.

This creates a ‘Cry Wolf’ syndrome where a few days later we realize that these photos are not real and the next time we have a life threatening weather situation and those who have seen those fake photos earlier may say ‘You know, i was duped last time. I’m not sure I have to believe it, ”so they’re not taking appropriate action because of these fake images,” Hysell explained.

Hysell advises to only share an image if you can verify its validity. The best way to make sure that an image matches what the poster says is to obtain it from the National Weather Service or a trusted media source.

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About Abraham Vernon

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