The Crusade Against Internet Fraud – Facebook Activist Fight Against Fake Nature Photos

September 7, 2016
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Working at a digital advertising agency means you spend a lot of time on the internet. A lot of time. For the sake of my sanity and withering social skills, probably too much time. And while some people may see that as a negative, we choose to embrace it. After all, you don’t become an authority on anything without diving in deep, which is what we do every day. We squeeze into our Helix House speedos, clamber up the ladder, plaster on our diving caps, and launch ourselves, head first into the scary deep end of the internet.

Where we usually make some interesting discoveries. As you know, the internet is home to hundreds of thousands of small, incredibly passionate niche communities. Often, in the course of our work, we dive deep into these communities. And this… can result is some strange discoveries.

We introduce you to the Facebook group known as “Truths Behind Fake Nature Photography.”

Everyone loves cute, silly, endearing nature pictures, right? The kind where a tiny little frog is pictured riding a beetle like a cowboy. Or where a lizard leans back on a log, Johnny Cash-look on his face, strumming a leaf like it’s a guitar. It’s almost like he thinks he’s people!

It’s the one thing that we, as humans with eyes and beating hearts and the need to feel something, can all agree on, right? Right? RIGHT??

Wrong.

The Truths Behind Fake Nature Photography is here to take a stance against the imminent threat of fake nature photography.

Fake nature photographs fall into two distinct categories – those that have been photoshopped, and those that have been staged. The Facebook group has different, although occasionally overlapping, issues with each of these two categories.

They claim photoshopped pictures create unrealistic expectations of nature – fantasies and misunderstandings which can become problematic or even destructive.

Staged pictures build those same unrealistic expectations, but also require the exploitation of animals. The Truths Behind Fake Nature Photography cites a popular picture of a frog performing a karate kick as a perfect example. They claim that a thin string was tied to two of the frog’s front legs, and one of its back legs to force it into the picturesque pose. Exposing such pictures is the primary goal of the Facebook group.

Here is the thing, as it turns out, they actually really good at identifying fake nature photos.

And again, as it turns out, there are a lot of fake nature photos out there.

If we were the types to draw lessons from things, we might see a pretty clear lesson in the work of The Truths Behind Fake Nature Photography. On the internet, if something seems too good to be true, it might actually be too good to be true.

Separating the real from the make-believe, the genuine offers from the snake oil peddlers, takes experiences, knowledge, and a discerning eye. The Truths Behind Fake Nature Photographs is a group comprised of passionate nature enthusiast who frequently consult relevant experts. In short, they are professionals and near professionals. This helps them identify the Fake when it is lurking in plain sight.

Next time you need some guidance out there in the wilderness of the internet, make sure you turn to the professionals. We are more than willing to help. After all, it’s what we love to do!

7_avatar_1Nathan Rea       
Lead Copywriter 

Nathan Rea, the lead copywriter at Helix House, is an Arizona native and a graduate from the University of Arizona in Tucson. With a B.A. in English Literature, he is wildly passionate about reading, writing, and boring his friends by talking Cormac McCarthy. He loves writing about the intersection between marketing, culture, technology, and business development. In his free time, he hikes, rock climbs, eats (a lot), and goes to just about every live music event in town.

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