The veil is being lifted around how easy it is to stage a viral photo that lights social media on fire and gets reported by most major mainstream outlets without verification.
At least some of the viral photographs of “health workers” protesting in response to those against lockdowns appear to be staged as a new video recorded by a passerby shows.
Over the past few days, the tension between both sides of the lockdown and anti-lockdown debate in the United States has increased.
Despite the threat posed by the coronavirus, many people have gathered to protest against the quarantine measures, saying that the lockdowns are destroying the economy and they want to get back to work.
This week we reported about how some of the most popular social media photos during this time – the ones that feature what have been described as “healthcare workers” standing up to protestors – appear to have been staged, after the photographer that took them admitted that they didn't actually know whether the group were real healthcare workers.
Since those original photographs, several more incidences of photographs being taken of what appears to be healthcare workers defiantly standing off against protestors have done the rounds, gaining several thousands of views online.
But although the photos look heroic, new video footage has emerged of the photos being staged.
Thanks to Facebook Live broadcast by Jess Lynne Black in Richmond, Virginia, it was possible to see how the media groups are staging the scenarios to take these photographs.
In the video, we can see a “doctor” standing in front of a vehicle full of lockdown protesters.
The vehicle, however, had already stopped because the intersection light is red.
During these seconds, a photographer took several images of the “doctor” standing in front of the car – appearing as though he had stopped the vehicle and was protesting against it.
After the photographs were taken, the doctor crossed the street as if nothing had happened.
Even though the woman who recorded the video yelled at the journalist that what he was doing was fraud, this will not prevent the fake photograph from spreading like wildfire online.
The commercial demand for both perspectives of the protests is so big that there is competition between photographers to see who gets the best shot, and they'll stop at nothing to get it.
The original post showing how the media is faking the photos has received a lot of comments on Twitter from people who claim that these actions are not new and that it is just that nowadays it is more difficult to go unnoticed.