Complicating life at Lawhaha.com, where we love to post interesting warning labels and signs, is the proliferation of fake, Photoshopped samples.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell. University of Memphis first-year law student George Scoville sent me the alligators picture. It looked a bit sketchy. Research led to a Reddit post detailing indicators that the picture is fake, including, for example, a Shutterstock watermark on the mushroom.
Determined not to be fooled twice, George, applying good legal research skills, wrote to the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department (the bison are in Golden Gate Park), receiving a reply that explained:
“That sign was put up as a prank. We took it down as soon as we became aware of it.”
So the sign is (was) actually real. Diabolical! On the other hand, it is Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, home of “Hippie Hill” and neighboring Haight-Ashbury, so it’s possible a sincerely motivated animal-lover posted the sign.
Before posting anything on Facebook or otherwise, take a minute to check it out. A quick check over at SNOPES will usually expose widely disseminated fake news, such as the recent viral Facebook post that Mark Zuckerberg was giving away $4.5 million to Facebook users who shared a thank you message.
In the meantime, signs or not, it’s not a good idea to give psychedelics to animals.