Is it fake?
... is a question that comes up fairly frequently when you're reading online content. We see news stories, social media posts, or images that flash by and make us wonder "Can that possibly be real?"
This week's Challenge is to explore a couple of ways to check if something is real or not. This came up for me this past week when a friend posted the following image on his/her Facebook page and wondered how CalTrans was going to get all of that mud and debris off of I-5.
I'm originally from LA, and there HAVE been recent mud slides in the LA area on Interstate 5 (I-5) at a place called the Grapevine (so-called because it's a very twisty freeway through a narrow mountain pass). I've driven that section of road a lot in my life, and this just doesn't look like the Grapevine.
So I wondered--is this photo real?
This is what started me thinking: What methods CAN we use to tell if something is true and correct? What would you do?
1. Is that image above really from the recent (October 16, 2015) mudslides on the Grapevine (I-5) near Los Angeles?
2. How about this next photo? Is this real?
3. And what about this one? It looks so simple, but which of these two pictures of a piece of cake is the original? (The top cake pic, or the bottom cake pic?)
As always, please explain your reasoning and methods. HOW did you figure out if it was true... or a fake?
Next week we'll continue this theme of "how to find fakes" with another kind of data! Let me know how you like these Challenges. I hope you find them as fun (and useful) as I do.
Answers (and how I figured it out) next Monday, November 2, 2015.