Quantcast
Connect with us

Amazon fires: how celebrities are spreading misinformation

Published

on

Many high-profile figures seeking to denounce the fires in the Amazon — from Madonna and Cristiano Ronaldo to Leonardo DiCaprio and Emmanuel Macron — have unwittingly ended up misleading millions on social media, either sharing photographs of the region that are years old or images taken in other parts of the world.

Official figures show nearly 73,000 forest fires were recorded in Brazil in the first eight months of the year, the highest number for any year since 2013. Most were in the Amazon.

ADVERTISEMENT

– Leaders –

“Our house is on fire. Literally. The Amazon, the lung of our planet which produces 20 percent of our oxygen is burning,” France’s President Emmanuel Macron said on Twitter, posting a photograph of a burning forest (1) accompanied by the hashtag #ActForTheAmazon.

“It is an international crisis. Members of the G7, let’s talk in two days about this emergency,” Macron said ahead of a planned summit this weekend in Biarritz.

But the photograph used by the French leader does not show this year’s fires. A reverse image search showed that it was taken by the American photojournalist Loren McIntyre, known for his work for National Geographic.

Although the image search tool does not reveal when exactly the photograph was taken, McIntyre died in 2003, meaning the image is at least 16 years old.

ADVERTISEMENT

(1) https://perma.cc/D93C-AYL7

Chile’s president, Sebastian Pinera, also ended up tweeting a misleading image to issue a warning about the fires, using a photograph (2) by Reuters journalist Nacho Doce from 2013.

(2) https://perma.cc/6D8D-39L8

ADVERTISEMENT

– Actors –

GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File / Alberto E. Rodriguez  Leonardo DiCaprio June 5 ,2019

Leonardo DiCaprio shared two pictures that proved to be inaccurate — the first (3) was the same one shared by Macron while the second (4) was shot in the Peruvian city of Puerto Maldonado in 2016.

ADVERTISEMENT

Peru is not currently affected by the fires, though authorities are “on alert”.

(3) https://perma.cc/Z24S-L6PM

(4) https://perma.cc/P2CG-ZHA9

ADVERTISEMENT

Actor and rapper Jaden Smith, son of superstar Will Smith, posted a dramatic image (5) on Instagram that shows a vast forest on fire as huge columns of smoke rise from it. But the photo, which has garnered more than 1.5 million likes, dates back to 1989.

(5) https://perma.cc/CZD3-6PZZ

Argentine actress and singer Martina Stoessel also shared an old photo (6) with a Twitter post saying, “How sad to see this…”. That picture was shot by Getty Images photographer Mario Toma in 2014.

(6) https://perma.cc/3YLS-H8SG

ADVERTISEMENT

– Sports stars –

AFP / Ben STANSALL Novak Djokovic, July14,2019

F1 driver Lewis Hamilton (7) and Brazil soccer captain Dani Alves (8) also posted one of the most widely shared misleading images — the picture taken by photographer McIntyre before 2003.

(7) https://perma.cc/S5UF-GTTB

(8) https://perma.cc/F67M-TTZU

ADVERTISEMENT

Meanwhile tennis star Novak Djokovic (9) shared the 1989 photo posted by Smith.

(9) https://perma.cc/SCS9-KPEW

Portuguese soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo sounded the alarm on Instagram, alerting his 180 million followers that “the Amazon Rainforest produces more than 20% of the world’s oxygen and its been burning for the past 3 weeks.” But the photo (10) accompanying his message was taken on March 29, 2013 by Lauro Alves, from the Brazilian agency RBS, in the non-Amazonian state of Rio Grande do Sul.

(10) https://perma.cc/5H4H-GKTB

Barca striker Luis Suarez also posted an old photo (11) dating back to 2015 and shot by journalist Nacho Doce.

ADVERTISEMENT

(11) https://perma.cc/3TVF-4TSR

– Singers –

Puerto Rican pop star Ricky Martin (13) and Cuban-American singer Camila Cabello (14) also shared the McIntyre photo tweeted by Macron, DiCaprio and Alves.

(13) https://perma.cc/2L2Y-58KL

ADVERTISEMENT

(14) https://perma.cc/LVH8-CCW2

US superstar Madonna posted the same 1989 image (15) shared by Smith and Djokovic, writing on Instagram: “President Bolsonaro please change your policies and help not only your country but the entire planet. No economic development is more important than protecting this land.”

“We need to WAKE -UP!!” she wrote.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘People’s lives will be lost’: Psychiatrist warns ‘sociopath’ Trump is ‘getting worse’ — and failing in coronavirus response

Published

on

President Donald Trump's psychological problems are getting worse and could be consequential as America faces a potential COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Thursday interviewed Dr. Lance Dodes, a former assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

"As you pointed out, Lawrence, this man is about himself. He really is not about the country, he's not about public health," Dr. Dodes said of Trump.

"Although he has already severely damaged the country by being a psychopath or sociopath -- in many ways, he's damaged democracy -- I think people's lives will be lost now," he warned. "Individual lives will be lost because of the way he's mishandling the coronavirus issue."

Continue Reading

2020 Election

‘Something really rotten’: Here’s the evidence of extensive voter suppression in Georgia’s notorious 2018 election

Published

on

As the 2020 presidential campaign cycle grinds on, there’s renewed concern about the 21st century’s newest form of warfare: cyber-sabotage of government systems, including elections and online disinformation intended to incite unrest. But as Suppressed: The Fight to Vote, a documentary from Brave New Films, makes clear, partisan voter suppression tactics with 20th-century roots remain and can thwart multitudes of voters from changing their state’s political leaders.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

The real story behind Trump’s new lawsuit against the New York Times

Published

on

Wednesday was an ominous day for freedom of the press in this country, and I want to tell you why.

You may have heard or seen that President Trump filed a libel suit against the New York Times. Perhaps you weren’t surprised: the president is known to frequently disparage the Times even as he reads it obsessively. Borrowing a page from what I’ve referred to before as a Mount Rushmore of totalitarians, Robespierre, Hitler, Stalin and Mao, Trump loves to call the press the “enemy of the people.”

Continue Reading
 
 
close-image