As severe typhoon Mangkhut threatened Hong Kong with real danger, a torrent of fake clips — storm vids that were not linked to 2018’s most powerful hurricane — yesterday proliferated on social media with gale force speed.
So, as a one-stop shop for checking out things that didn’t actually happen yesterday, we thought we’d compile a list of some of the #fakeweather news.
Passenger jet doing barrel roll ahead of emergency landing.
Sounding like a legit news source, but actually nothing more than a Facebook page, “Times News International” released a clip with a caption saying “Dragon Air hit by typhoon,” which shows a large passenger jet doing some ridiculous aerial gymnastics before cutting away to what was made to look like the situation post emergency landing. The caption claimed that the incident had been “confirmed” by Beijing Capital Airlines, which (Clue #1) does not own the Cathay Pacific-run Dragon Air.
As described further by Aviation 24, the clip was actually an animation combined with real news footage of a Beijing Capital Airlines Airbus A320 enduring a hard landing recently at Macau Airport.
How many people have seen it you ask? Almost 10 million.
Tornado ravaging the city
With all the wild weather reports coming in, many jumped on, retweeted and attributed this clip of a ferocious-looking tornado spiraling in the background of a block of flats to Mangkhut. A quick search of YouTube, however, brings up the same clip from 2015, which, via New China TV, tells us the tornado was from a storm a couple of years back, when Typhoon Mujigae hit Foshan in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong in October of that year. Something pointed out by several savvy users.
Dude playing badminton with the wind
As the gusts raged outside, some Twitter users shared this amusing clip of a man facing off with the wind in a friendly game of badminton. Only problem was, it wasn’t Mangkhut he was playing. A search of YouTube shows the clip was posted back in 2015, which a caption describing the one-on-none session as happening in Taiwan.
Man catching flying umbrella
Umbrellas, fair to say, were of little use yesterday, as winds of more than 200 kilometers per hour lashed Hong Kong. And as much as we’d like to say it’s us outside during Mangkhut’s fury catching a flying umbrella, this clip a) showed up a day before Mangkhut arrived on Youtube, and b) several days ago on Chinese social media. Few details on where, when or even if this actually took place. We’ll certainly be practicing our technique though for next time.
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