How To Spot Fake Hurricane Irma Posts On Social Media


With a major natural disaster, comes a barrage of fake social media posts. KELOLAND News Investigates continues our Real or Fake series by giving you a guide as to what to watch out for.

Hurricane Irma is on a direct path to Florida. This is incredible video of the monster storm from space. 

“So I can guarantee you that I don’t know anybody in Florida that’s ever experienced what’s about to hit south Florida,” FEMA Administrator Brock Long said.

Over the next few days, your social media feeds will likely be filled with videos like these. But, how can you tell if what you’re seeing is real or fake? We break it down for you. 

There’s a Facebook post shared by someone named Carlos Trewher.  It says it’s live video from Hurricane Irma.  Only it turns out it’s a fake and is actually video of a cyclone in India. 

Here’s the problem: There’s a blue checkmark? That’s a designation from Facebook that says the account is verified and normally means it’s more credible. 

However, because this video is fake Facebook has removed the blue checkmark from the account.  The video has also been taken down.  

Another video on Twitter appears to show a building collapse in St. Martin after intense floodwaters. 

This is also fake. It’s actually a video from a storm in Tibet. 

Another photo of flamingos show the birds packed into a bathroom at Zoo Miami. 

The picture is real, but it’s not from Hurricane Irma. It’s actually from Hurricane Andrew in 1992. 

Zoo Miami used the bathroom as a protective shelter for the animals riding out the hurricane.

Evacuating a zoo is often too difficult and more dangerous for the animals. 

Another thing to keep an eye on: fake forecasts. The National Weather Service is warning people about the crediblity of extended forecasts. The National Hurricane Center only predicts conditions up to five days, not 10 days in advance as some posts circulating on social media. 

So, how can you tell what’s real and fake on Facebook this weekend as Irma makes landfall? Stay tuned to your trusted sources. Our KELOLAND news team will have continuing coverage – and we’ll be working to verify what posts are accurate.   

If you spot something you question about the storms that you want us to investigate, share the post with Angela Kennecke on and our investigates team will check out if it’s real or fake.  

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