It's not real: Australia burning image goes viral

I had my suspicions the first time I saw this:

As wildfires continue to burn millions of acres of land in Australia, some social media users are misusing a digital visualization to draw attention to the disaster. One image published on Facebook on Jan. 5 claims to show a satellite view of Australia provided by a NASA satellite.

"Pray for us please," the user wrote alongside the image, which shows bright orange spots where fires are purportedly burning across the continent.

No doubt the fires in Australia are devastating, and may even push some species into extinction. But the proliferation of inaccurate images and news stories may be even more dangerous, if it pushes us to the point we can't believe anything that is reported. Definitely related:

Five minutes. That is generally all the time it takes to verify the information you're about to share on Facebook or Twitter.

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Comments

Good point

I've been guilt of misreading or retweeting things that turn out to be "old" or just plain wrong. Time to double down on accuracy. Except on FB political ads, of course, where lying is the name of the game.