We suspect this was done intentionally so as to portray the frothing mobs as much larger than they really are.
Hours after George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the Trayvon Martin murder trial, hundreds of people in San Francisco went into the streets to protest.
Hundreds—not hundreds of thousands.
And yet not long after the verdict was announced, a photo surfaced all over Twitter, Instagram and Facebook that showed the Golden Gate Bridge entirely taken over by foot traffic—allegedly, by scores of Bay Area protestors.
The photo is real, but has no connection with Martin or Zimmerman. It’s actually over 20 years old. And it isn’t a protest, it’s a celebration.
The pic is actually from Bridgewalk 1987, when 800,000 walked from San Francisco to Marin County and back for the 50th anniversary of the Golden Gate’s opening ceremony. For Bridgewalk, cars were diverted from the bridge. Following the Zimmerman verdict, traffic has been running without disruption.
But for social media, the photo was too good not to be true. It was the real-world reaction tweeters and likers had hoped for, and the imagined protest was shared by thousands—the latest chapter in the tumultuous love affair Twitter, Facebook et al. have had with the case.
Twitter was apparently created to give a voice to the stupid.