Occasionally, against all odds, you’ll see an interesting or even enjoyable picture on the Internet. But is it worth sharing, or just another Photoshop job that belongs in the digital trash heap? Check in here and find out if that viral photo deserves an enthusiastic “forward” or a pitiless “delete.”

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After White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters last week that President Obama believes the Confederate flag “belongs in a museum,” several right-wing blogs seized upon this image supposedly demonstrating the president’s hypocrisy.

The button seen above, however, wasn’t an official pin issued by the 2012 Obama campaign, but a design created by Zazzle user pinbacksvt, whose email address (pinbacksvt@hotmail.com) is still barely discernible at the bottom of the button. In 2012, the merchant created several similar pins, including “Israeli-Americans for Obama,” “Chinese-Americans for Obama” and “Anglo-Americans for Obama,” each bearing a flag and quotation representing a different demographic of Obama supporters.

Schultz, it should be noted, was merely reiterating the president’s position on the Confederate flag, Obama having first made his “belongs in a museum” comment back in 2007.

Image via Twitter


When the story of a German man who, post-divorce, vengefully sawed his belongings in half came out last week, news outlets went bonkers for the pictures, which were soon reposted by Time, Fox News and Gawker Media’s own Gizmodo. But as is so often the case online, the too-good-to-be-true tale was just that.

As Factually’s Matt Novak explained on Monday, the whole thing was a viral advertising campaign for the German Bar Association. From German magazine Deutsche Anwaltauskunft (translated via Snopes):

Why did we do this? Martin G. may not be genuine, but in Germany every year there are a large number of very real divorces that end up like Martin’s — or worse. Because too few couples are legally prepared for a separation, a divorce often results in a “War of the Roses” scenario in which not only furniture and cars suffer, but also the couple themselves and their children.

To raise awareness of this serious issue, we wanted to do something in a humorous but careful manner — with a small, viral story: 16 eBay auctions and a video on YouTube. We hoped it would especially appeal to young people, who are at risk to be the warring couples of tomorrow.

Image via Twitter


This dramatic photo of the sky over Fenway Park shot to the top of Reddit on Tuesday, eventually becoming the most popular image on this site’s /r/pics page this week. Even more incredible than the photo itself, however, is the fact that it’s totally real.

Earlier this week, Deadspin posted a roundup of Fenway Park photos taken after Tuesday’s series of (later cancelled) tornado warnings in Boston, each one arguably more spectacular than the last.

Image via Twitter


On Thursday, Twitter’s deceptively chaste photo-sharing account @SciencePorn posted the above image, attributing it to NASA’s Curiosity rover. That supposed origin, however, was debunked by Bad Astronomy author Phil Plait back in 2012.

As Plait pointed out then, the image shows a small “NE” in the bottom-left corner—a telltale sign that the image was rendered on a computer. From Slate:

Programs like Starry Night, SkySafari, and so on will put the cardinal directions (north, south, and so on) along the horizon to indicate what direction you’re looking. And many of them will display the appearance of the sky from other planets. It’s clear that’s what we have here: a rendered view from Mars using planetarium software.

Furthermore, Plait notes that such an incredible rover photo would be unlikely to come from NASA unnoticed.

“Thing is,” writes Plait, “had one of the rovers taken this picture, it would’ve been all over the web at the time.”

Image via Twitter//h/t @PicPedant


Lastly, the long, dumb saga of the Kentucky Fried Rat finally reached its conclusion on Monday, when KFC announced that independent DNA testing had proven the alleged breaded rodent to be—surprise, surprise—a piece of goddamn chicken.

“The right thing for this customer to do is to apologize and cease making false claims about the KFC brand,” the not-rat retailer told the L.A. Times.

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