There have been a plethora of images and videos shared on social media platforms during the ongoing bushfire crisis in Australia, but most of them are not real. As deadly blazes tear across southeastern Australia, false or deliberately misleading images and claims have proliferated online, in languages from Arabic to Hindi.
And even the celebs are falling for it. On January 6, US singer Rihanna shared a photo of a map, which claimed to show Australian bushfires; yet, as it turns out, it is fake.
As a reverse search reveals, this image is actually artist Anthony Hearsey's visualisation of the data collected over a month on fires in Australia. As he mentions in his Instagram post, "Also note that NOT all the areas are still burning, and this is a compilation."
This is how he describes the photo - "This is a 3D visualisation of the fires in Australia. NOT A PHOTO. Think of this as prettier looking graph."
He also mentions that a number of people had misled others by calling it a NASA photo, which is probably why the image has been flagged as "false information."
View this post on Instagram
* Didn’t realise this would go viral 👀 PLEASE READ BELOW. * Regarding False Information. This has occurred NOT because of this post, or my information being inaccurate. It has been Zucc'd because other people have shared this image with the caption "This is a NASA photograph". This image has been flagged as a result. This is a 3D visualisation of the fires in Australia. NOT A PHOTO. Think of this as prettier looking graph. This is made from data from NASA’s FIRMS (Satellite data regarding fires) between 05/12/19 - 05/01/20. These are all the areas which have been affected by bushfires. https://firms.modaps.eosdis.nasa.gov/map/#z:5;c:137.4,-27.9;t:adv-points;d:2019-12-05..2020-01-05;l:dark_gray,firms_viirs,firms_modis_a,firms_modis_t Scale is a little exaggerated due to the render’s glow, but generally true to the info from the NASA website. Also note that NOT all the areas are still burning, and this is a compilation. This image is copyrighted by Anthony Hearsey. Please contact for usage. DONATE HERE - https://linktr.ee/lukebakhuizen?fbclid=IwAR1hxUc97BXMPIxjiJqcVW7uG8wlgkPLfyO2wVFLVRDSw5X6cXAGeBuikeM _ #bushfires #render #visualisation #data #3d #australia #climatechange #disaster #fire #infographic #cinema4d #graphic #nasa
It's not technically Rihanna's fault, since this is just one of the maps that went viral on social media. This particular image has been shared widely with captions which claim that the map shows exactly how bad the bushfire crisis is. Similarly, there's another map which comprises flame icons in order to demonstrate "all the fires burning in Australia" at present. Unfortunately, that's fake too.