A photograph of a man, mistakenly identified as Andreas Lubitz, is causing quite a stir. The photo, which originated on Twitter, is being used by media outlets to identify the man accused of deliberately crashing a passenger plane into the French Alps. However, the man in the photo is Andreas Günter not Andreas Günter Lubitz.
— zayneb zn (@ZaynebZn) March 28, 2015
On March 24, Germanwings Flight 9295 was traveling from Barcelona, Spain, to Düsseldorf, Germany, when it inexplicably took a nosedive and crashed into the French Alps. A total of 144 passengers and six crew members were killed in the impact.
Within days, authorities determined co-pilot Andreas Lubitz was responsible for the crash. Although the incident is still under investigation, officials believe Lubitz deliberately steered the plane into the mountain range.
When the news broke, media outlets relied on social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter, to gain photos of Andreas Lubitz. Unfortunately, one of the most frequently-used photos is of the wrong man.
Andreas Günter, 38, was stunned to see his photo displayed in news articles about Germanwings Flight 9295. He was specifically concerned, as he is identified as Andreas Lubitz.
— Johnlee Abraham (@Johnleeabraham) March 27, 2015
Günter, who is a cook from Abruzzo, said the image was likely taken from his girlfriend’s Twitter account. In the original photo, Günter was posing with his girlfriend’s parents. However, numerous media outlets cropped the photo and added Andreas Lubitz’s name.
As reported by ANSA News, Günter expected the media outlets to recognize the mistake and remove the photo. Unfortunately, the picture is still being used to identify the Germanwings co-pilot. Günter said “it amazes [him] that… journalists from around the world simply take information from a tweet.”
Liguria reports that the mislabeled photo is being used by thousands of media outlets to identify Andreas Lubitz. A simple Google search confirms the photograph is being used by countless news agencies.
Despite the ongoing confusion, Andreas Günter is not angry. He is simply stunned that the misinformation has spread so quickly.
[Images via Yibada]