This map issued by ABC in the US provides a misleading image of Australia's fire crisis.
This map issued by ABC in the US provides a misleading image of Australia's fire crisis.

The viral bushfire images that are fooling the world

AUSTRALIA'S massive bushfires have shocked people around the world and led to an outpouring of sympathy and donations.

While images of the fire have drawn interest worldwide, not all of them are quite what they seem.

Some bushfire maps have been criticised for misleading people about the location and size of the fires, with a map used by the ABC in the US appearing to show the entire east coast of Australia on fire, as well as a strange line of fires through the centre of the country.

 

This map issued by ABC in the US provides a misleading image of Australia's fire crisis.
This map issued by ABC in the US provides a misleading image of Australia's fire crisis.

 

 

 

A Brisbane photographer whose 3D visualisation of the fires went viral, also had to explain the picture was not a photo and actually showed fire hotspots over a month from December 5 until January 5.

 

 

Another map shows fires covering most of Western Australia when in fact most of the worst-hit areas are on the east coast of the country.

 

There are also photos circulating that are not from the current crisis.

A photo of a woman and five children clinging to a wharf was actually taken during the Tasmanian bushfires in 2013.

Tammy Holmes and her grandchildren during bushfires in Tasmania in 2013.
Tammy Holmes and her grandchildren during bushfires in Tasmania in 2013.

Stephanie Hunt, Australian editor of Storyful, which sources, verifies and analyses social media content for local and international news outlets, told The Australian there had been a huge amount of misinformation about the fires.

Even some celebrities had shared the bogus content, including Nine Network sports presenter Erin Molan and former rugby player Wendell Sailor, who shared a video of a collision between fire trucks, which actually happened in 2015 in South Australia.

 


She advised people to think about where an image came from before posting on social media, and to do a Google image search if something looked too good to be true.


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