How to spot a fake weather social media post
OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) —
Social media is a great tool for spreading important weather information quickly. However, it's become more common for false pictures or forecasts to be shared hundreds of times.
Just by taking one look at a search for "Oklahoma Weather" on Facebook you can see numerous accounts pop up, but just because you see it on social media doesn't mean you should believe it. Social media has made it easy for anyone to be a meteorologist. With several severe weather seasons in Oklahoma, fake weather posts are common.
In some cases, users, just to get views and likes, will pick up images from the National Weather Service or forecasts from years ago and share them. Those often get shared the most and that false or old information ends up propagating. This can lead to dangerous things such as taking cover when you're not supposed to, changing or canceling plans when it's not needed or even making the meteorologists seem as they are "crying wolf".
Patrick Allmond, owner of Focus Marketing, says there are simple ways to spot a real weather post from a fake one.
"I've seen often times people will go to a Facebook page from a weather page and pick up pictures from a couple of years ago, and re-purpose those now. Again, for the likes and views," Allmond said. "Just check multiple sources, check NOAA, check multiple meteorologists and make sure that the information you are sharing is current."
Another problem to watch out for on social media is sharing information and forecasts that are for more than a few days out.
The National Weather Service in Norman shares a graphic several times throughout the year urging residents to think before you share. The graphic also highlights the importance of not sharing information from one model or for a potential weather event that is weeks away. One way to ensure your sharing accurate information is to know your meteorologist and choose one that gives practical information and doesn't try to scare.
Facebook Live is a good way to know that you aren't sharing old or fake information but there are still things to watch out for.
"One thing we have to be careful of is oftentimes people can take old footage and stream it as Facebook Live. So make sure the information you are watching has some kind of current date or time on it," Allmond said.
When you follow the FOX 25 Storm Watch Weather Team on social media you will get practical, informative and accurate information without the scare tactics. You can find the team here: