You can't trust anything funny on the Internet these days | TechPresident

Birmingham News reporter Kyle Whitmire has the real story behind this photo of a purported Alabama sorority member embarrassing herself with a poorly written anti-Obama sign.

This photo has gone viral on Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook.

Turns out, it was too ironic to be true.

Whitmire interviewed the woman, Kim Stafford, who grew up in Boston (not Alabama), is not in a sorority and intends to vote for President Obama.

She made the sign as part of a "Tea Party" costume for a college party, intentionally misspelling words "to make sure no one thought she was serious," Whitmire reports. Her roommate put that photo on Facebook, and off it went.

It's not the first time an embarrassing viral photo related to this year's presidential campaign turned out to be fake. You might recall the unfortunate misalignment of children whose shirts spelled "RMONEY" instead of "ROMNEY."

One post of this photo was shared more than 82,600 times on Facebook.

That was an outright fake, as TechPresident thoroughly explained. It was doctored (you can see the original AP photo) for fun by the co-founder of a liberal online message board. But it was quickly spread through social media by people who thought it was real.

Something to think about the next time you see a viral photo that seems too good to be true: It probably is.

Related: Fake @CokieRoberts Twitter account fools journalists | The risk & benefits of reporting on memes

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    Jeff Sonderman

    Jeff Sonderman is the deputy director of the American Press Institute, helping to lead its use of research, tools, events, and strategic insights to advance and sustain journalism.


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