Just Because It’s Online, Doesn’t Necessarily Mean It’s True
The first time the image above was shared on Facebook, there were some immediate comments and shares with some people who appeared shocked based on their comments when they saw the caption of the photo. The last time I checked it, the image had 5,419 shares last Friday, June 15, 2012.
This is not really true, read more details about it below.
First thing I noticed was the escalator. Clearly the rails are made for escalators, but the steps are green tiles. That looks like they were made for swimming pools and bathrooms. Clearly this was made to be underwater. So this may be some amusement park of some sort.
UPDATE (6/17/2012): After further staring at this picture… the escalator does look real, the tiles idea came from the greenish hue of the steps. And looking at some areas of the railing, also have this green coloration. Probably caused by the photo editing of the file when trying to match up the colors of mixed images. Which made the dark black escalator steps look like green tiles.
Upon searching some images online, it appears like the sharks have been “photoshopped” into the image. Since the shark on the left is a popular shark used in many photo edited images. (source)
Upon researching further, it appears this image first came out on an internet meme site, where users upload funny pictures relating to basement floods that happened in Toronto. The photo above was said to be taken at Toronto’s Union Station during a recent flood last June 1, 2012.
Update (6/18/2012): The Inquisitr posted the original image without the sharks. And as they were explaining this was a hoax, they were also talking about other people referring this photo as “Sharks at the Mall”. The original “photoshopper” was also found to be Jamie A. King and confirmed by a tweet to Mashable writer Christine Erickson that he made the image.
Now Mashable is even interested in probably giving Jamie King some spot on Mashable for photoshop tips. Interesting how a hoax photo can turn into something positive for the hoax maker.
In the information age, everyone is a publisher
Since everyone can publish anything online these days on blogs or contributing to community sites such as online forums, social media sites; anything can go online. With the use of SEO and Social Media, it can even spread to a larger amount of people whether the news is good or bad, true or false. Content and information can be easily taken out of context because it is just so easy to do so. A simple copy and paste, save and upload that even the average pre-teen kid can do.
I am not here to talk about responsible blogging, or proper use of information, since I believe that is something you cannot stop and regulate the actions of other people online. And some people out there will purposely use SEO and Social Media to spread hoaxes online that is sometimes beyond anyone’s control. However what everyone can do is taking everything online with a grain of salt. You can always research and find several reputable resources online before making any conclusions.
Take advantage of online memes that are about you or your company and leveraging it to turn into something good
This hoax collapse shark tank image seems to be a harmless prank, and I even doubt there were any effects on Kuwait’s Scientific Center. If ever there was an effect, it may even be a good one, making the Kuwait science center more popular. If I were them, I would be more “noisy” about it online, on a blog and on social media sites, even press releases and saying it isn’t true and how they had a good laugh, then you can always integrate some call to action for tourist to visit the center, specifically to check out the shark tanks.
Has any other business done anything like this? A natural occurring prank that they have taken advantage of to gain more popularity? If you are aware of any, tweet this using the twitter buttons bellow or on the left and share your thoughts.