As Tropical Storm Hilary rolled into southern California, bringing with it flash floods and record-setting rain totals, Barstool‘s Dan Katz wrote on Twitter, “Friend of mine out in LA just took this picture on the 405. And yes, all news and media outlets you have permission to use this. Wild.” The tweet also included an obviously fake photo of a shark swimming down the highway… and the rare double community note.
One reads, “The photograph is a digital hoax. The image of the shark was lifted from a 2005 photograph of a kayaker being trailed by a great white shark and pasted into a photograph of a flooded street,” while the other notes, “The photo originally appeared in 2011, after Hurricane Irene hit Puerto Rico. The hoax also made the rounds in 2015 after Texas was hit with heavy rains, in 2016 during Hurricane Matthew and again in 2017 after Hurricane Harvey.”
“Hurricane Shark” has gone viral enough times that it has a Know Your Meme page. But instead of two seconds of research, Ted Cruz shared the tweet with his millions of followers. “Holy crap,” the senator quote-tweeted. Cruz later tried to take it back in a follow up (“I’m told this is a joke. In LA, you never know,” he wrote, whatever that means), but for someone so Extremely Online, he should know better. The only explanation I can think for why Cruz fell for the obvious hoax is because he’s been busy looking at other images online.
Ted Cruz just fell for Twitter’s oldest hoax: the shark on the highway. pic.twitter.com/7xtX9rnDsd
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) August 21, 2023
Senator Ted Cruz falls for the classic Hurricane Shark hoax pic.twitter.com/66dOZWPwh5
— Matt Binder (@MattBinder) August 21, 2023
someone ask Ted Cruz if he wants to join the Pen 15 club
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 21, 2023