On the scale of things this misinformed post by a local meteorologist won’t impact the scope of world events. But members of the media have a responsibility to get it right and correct the record – even if their incorrect post goes viral and gets them thousands of likes and shares.
“Chief Meteorologist” Ken Johnson from KAUZ TV in Texas shared this picture depicting a storm on Jupiter on his Facebook page and said it came from the James Webb Space Telescope.
The problem is the image didn’t come from Webb, nor was it even a photo. A quick Google search took me to this Smithsonian magazine article from 2020 where a caption describes it as an artist’s depiction of what a storm might look like on the gas giant.
As of the time of this writing the post has over 23,000 reactions and over 7,300 shares. Thousands of people are believing this trusted voice and getting misinformed.
It just goes to show how fast false and misleading information can spread especially when shared by a trained member of the media with a scientific background who could have taken a few minutes to fact check it first.
Now the question is – will he correct the record? Let’s see.
UPDATE: The post has been deleted, but not corrected. Better to pretend that it never happened vs. being accurate?