Internet tricksters are rehashing and re-sharing hurricane-related hoaxes on social media while Hurricane Florence continues barreling toward the Carolinas at break-neck pace.
Twitter and Facebook users are recirculating a few old memes associated with past monster storms to dupe gullible people on the Internet. Many hoaxes are simply too silly to take seriously.
Whatever their nature, many of the jokes are going viral. Here is a list of some of the goofiest examples.
People Fall For The Shark Meme Every Time
A phony image of flooded streets teeming with hundreds of little sharks started circulating this week prior to Hurricane Florence’s arrival. The images are virtually identical to those generated in 2017 when Hurricane Irma was walloping Florida. Irma, a powerful Category 4 hurricane, targeted several Caribbean islands before killing at least 13 people.
Some media are worried people might fall victim to these hoaxes as Florence nears. (RELATED: Florida Sheriff Asks Citizens Not To Fire A Gun At Hurricane Irma)
One fact-checking outlet known for rescuing people from fake news stepped up and knocked down this insidious canard. Snopes fact checked the jokes and found them wanting. The outlet determined that the image is fakery with a news ticker digitally added as a reference to the Sharknado sci-fi movie series.
Dishwashers Are Not Airtight, So Don’t Use Them To Store Keepsakes
Another meme containing a long list of hurricane-related advice has been shared thousands of times on Facebook – the list, among other things, advises people to place any items they want to store “in a plastic bin and put in your dishwasher, lock the door — this should make it water tight in case of any water intrusion into your home.”
The post’s advice was picked up by multiple news outlets this week. The advice is not new. BuzzFeed reported in 2017, at the outset of Irma, that dishwashing companies don’t recommend people use dishwashers as footlockers. Some people tried this method of preserving keep-sakes, but they were disappointed in the results.
Don’t Get Into A Shootout With Hurricane Florence. Your Bullets Probably Won’t Kill It
Tens of thousands of people have joined a Facebook event inviting attendees to fire handguns indiscriminately at Florence to scare away the hurricane. The event carries a disclaimer from its organizer: “Do not actually discharge firearms into the air. You could kill someone and you cannot frighten a hurricane. I can’t believe I actually have to write this.”
Organizers created a similar event in 2017. Two Florida men orchestrated a Facebook event in that year called “Shoot At Hurricane Irma” and invited Floridians to stand outside and fire-off several rounds toward the East while Irma came churned toward them. Nearly 53,000 people expressed interest in joining the event.
Floridians brainstormed other ideas to ward away Irma. One event called for people to spin their arms in Sarasota, Florida, in an attempt to stop the storm, while another event suggested pouring ice cubes in the Atlantic Ocean.
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