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Sandy is a disaster, but these photos are ridiculous

According to one estimate, Instagram users are uploading 10 Sandy photos a second. So why are these (mostly) obvious fakes getting so much attention on social media?

This photo purports to show the Statue of Liberty getting slammed by a Hurricane Sandy-generated storm surge. In fact, it's a still from the film "The Day After Tomorrow."
Is Twitter Wrong

As almost everyone knows, Hurricane Sandy is bearing down on the East Coast, and when all is said and done, its likely to leave a wide, expensive, and potentially fatal path of destruction in its wake. Yet despite a massive number of legitimate photos of the storm being uploaded to every social network you can think of -- including 10 a second to Instagram -- a number of sensational photos seem to be dominating the conversation.

The photos show incredible images like the eye of the hurricane floating over the top of the Statue of Liberty. Or of a very ominous sky over the Empire State Building. Yet, many of these photos are either out-and-out fakes or are images of other storms now being passed off as current.

Hard to say why that's necessary when there's sure to be plenty of real imagery that can illustrate the awesome power of this once-in-a-lifetime storm. But what is clear is that without people doing a reality checks, many of these photos -- such as one purporting to show a flooded McDonald's in Virginia -- would simply be accepted as fact.