According to Facebook, more than 11,000 people are talking about “bikers for Trump inauguration” at the moment. Some of them are being bolstered by the following fake photo, which was real when posted with the label “Bikers somos Y en el camino rodamos” atop the photo. That translates to “Bikers we are — And on the road we roll,” when it was posted back in November of 2016 in the Twitter tweet below.
— Snopes Video (@SnopesVideo) January 18, 2017
As reported by Snopes, the photo below was altered to include the text “On Their Way to D.C. The Trump 45 Inauguration,” with the long line of bikers purportedly headed to Trump’s Inauguration Day festivities. However, the photo was borrowed from previous events, reportedly from an event that was designed to show bikers how to safely travel in large groups. In the wake of buzz about fake news, it’s not the first time that a photo would be taken from one event and has had someone alter the meaning and context of the photo by placing fake text atop the photo.
— Sebastián (@SebastianSavala) November 7, 2016
A search for #BikersForTrump on Twitter turns up a bunch of photos being shared of large crowds of bikers supposedly heading to Trump’s Inauguration Day activities. However, according to BuzzFeed, most of these photos of bikers are being used as scams. The publication has traced the roots of the photos of groups of bikers that some folks are trying to pass off as photos of bikers headed to see Trump get sworn in as the 45th president of the U.S.
People Are Sharing Fake Pictures Of Bikers For Trump Heading To The Inauguration. https://t.co/3aMB0w4qi6
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) January 18, 2017
Perhaps many of these fake photos of bikers — or rather, real photos and videos of bikers being repurposed with fake Trump Inauguration Day headlines — were inspired by Trump’s tweet on Tuesday. As seen below Trump tweeted that “Bikers for Trump” were on their way to the Inauguration Day activities, and before long, a bunch of “Bikers for Trump” photos and videos began spreading online. Within about eight hours of being published online, Snopes‘ article that called out one of those “Bikers for Trump” photos as fake was shared more than 1,400 times on social media.
People are pouring into Washington in record numbers. Bikers for Trump are on their way. It will be a great Thursday, Friday and Saturday!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 17, 2017
It’s not just everyday social media users who are sharing the fake photos. Katie Hopkins, a columnist who enjoys 673,000 followers on Twitter, posted the fake biker photo with a description that read, “Go you good things
#BikersForTrump – helping Make America Great Again *packs leathers & vaseline*.” That tweet alone received 745 likes on Twitter.
With so much talk about the “Bikers for Trump” potentially forming a “Wall of Meat” — presumably the wall of bikers’ bodies — to protect Trump during the Inauguration Day activities, lots of fake photos and videos are also floating around, being pulled from previous years, but containing captions that make it seem as if they are current photos of bikers. Certain photos might instead display “Bikers for Trump” events called a “rally and ride” for Trump, but they may have been taken when Trump was still Republican presidential candidate Trump — back on July 18, 2016, in Cleveland — and not during inauguration week. The photos taken during the first day of the Republican convention might be easier to distinguish, based on location markers and the clothing being worn in the photos. The featured photo above shows Trump preparing to shake the hand of a supporter and bikers in Washington on May 29, 2016.
Not everyone is fooled by all the “Bikers for Trump” photos being spread around Twitter and Facebook. Instead, some people are using the #BikersForTrump hashtag to post funny photos of bikers that don’t represent huge troops of bikers coming to see Trump sworn in as the new president.
[Featured Image by Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Images]