Today’s forecast calls for viral with a 100 per cent chance of fake. And scattered nudity by midday. Is that a real mobile phone exploding in the microwave? Is that really JFK lying lifeless after being assassinated? Is that a woman hitchhiking naked at Woodstock? No, no, and no. Today we have a mildly not-safe-for-work version of our regular debunking series. Warning: NSFW.
You may have seen these images floating around Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest lately. But don’t be fooled. They’re all lying to you.
1. Is this a hitchhiker from Woodstock in 1969?
According to HistoryInPics and your aunt’s Pinterest board of hippie nostalgia, the photo on the left shows a woman at Woodstock hitchhiking. Except that it’s not. The photo was staged for an ad campaign in 1971.
The naked hitchhiker ad was one of many in a campaign for Landlubber Clothing Company featuring people wearing nothing but their birthday suits. More ads featuring a woman on a bike and a man at a desk appear below. Apparently the idea was that if these people couldn’t find Landlubber clothes, they didn’t want to wear anything at all.
Or, more accurately, the idea was that they could turn their ads into a profitable side business selling posters that would hang in college dorms across the country. In the mid 1970s Landlubber was pulling in about $US100 million.
2. Is this a photo of JFK after he’d been shot?
Nope. It’s a reenactment that was filmed for the 1977 TV movie The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald. There was no photographer hovering over the car immediately after JFK was shot. Believe me, Oliver Stone would have been all over those photos.
Fake photo description via HistoricalPics
3. Is this Barack Obama in 2009 and 2014?
The presidency certainly ages most people. But this photo from the HistoricalPics Twitter account isn’t quite true. The photo on the left which purports to be from 2009 is actually from 2005. That means that the difference between the two pictures is closer to nine years, rather than five. I can tell you I look a lot different in photos from nine years ago, and I don’t even run the country.
The weird thing: If you use a photo that’s actually from 2009 it has a similar effect, if slightly less drastic. Below on the left, a photo of Obama shortly before becoming president in January 2009. On the right, the President last week. The depressed expression on his face certainly doesn’t help him look any younger.
Fake photo description from HistoricalPics; Bottom photos via Getty
4. Is this the Christmas Truce of WWI with German and British troops playing football together?
As PicPedant points out, the photo actually just shows British troops in Salonika, Greece in 1915 playing football — known by Americans as “racquetball” if I’m not mistaken. There are no Germans in sight.
And it’s definitely not the Christmas truce of 1914 where a handful of British and German troops emerged from their trenches to meet, exchange presents, and yes, even play a little soccer.
Inaccurate image description via HistoryInPics
5. Is this really what happens when you put a cell phone in the microwave?
Their viral campaign was hosted on No-Evil.net and was meant to illustrate the how terrible the competing phone companies were by forcing you to stick with contracts. Notice how the bubbling mobile phone turns into what looks like a demon? That’s no accident. It’s all computer generated imagery.
Fake gif via Learn_Things
6. Are these two happy owls?
Adorable, sure. But not real owls. Unless the clasps below are simply an owl trait that I’m unfamiliar with. You never know.
Fake photo via EARTHPlCS
7. Is this a Woodstock poster from 1969?
We started with some Woodstock fakery so we may as well end with some Woodstock fakery. Is that Woodstock poster you’ve seen circulating the Real McCoy? Sadly, no. It’s a modern day fake.
The fonts on the poster on the left are simply too modern. And they have even spelled Joan Baez’s name incorrectly! If you’re going to do a fake at least make an effort to use typefaces that predate the 1980s.