West Seattle protest photo’s cameo – inaccurately labeled, and uncredited – in national spotlight

(Aerial photo courtesy Paul Weatherman)

It’s been 2 1/2 months since West Seattle photographer Paul Weatherman took that aerial photo of the June 6th Black Lives Matter protest in The Junction; we featured it in our coverage. But today, it’s turning up on some social-media feeds, mislabeled and uncredited. This first came to our attention last night when a reader pointed out that President Trump had retweeted someone’s tweet claiming the photo was from a protest about mail-in voting:

(Screengrab from our phone last night)

Though the original tweet was apparently meant as a joke – for one, our state has had mail-in voting for years, and for two, the tweeting account describes itself as humorous – the presidential retweet drew corrections, pointing out the photo had appeared in our June story.

We mentioned all this on the WSB Twitter account last night and were just going to leave it at that until we got an inquiry this morning from an organization identifying itself as a “Facebook fact-checking partner.” The email noted that the tweet has been reposted on THAT platform, and they wanted to verify the actual source/truth of the photo. So we thought we had better make a note here too.

36 Replies to "West Seattle protest photo's cameo - inaccurately labeled, and uncredited - in national spotlight"

  • Shelly August 18, 2020 (10:47 am)

    Noted. But whatever the reason, why is it ok for these crowds to gather? And so many others, not?

  • helpermonkey August 18, 2020 (10:54 am)

    that orange fool is so inept. it would be funny if it weren’t utterly terrifying. 

  • Rico August 18, 2020 (11:03 am)

    Dang, I thought that was the line to buy Mariner playoff tickets.

    • Brian T. August 18, 2020 (3:01 pm)

      LOL…. with the way things are going this will be the year they make playoffs and we can’t actually go!

      • West Seattle since 1979 August 18, 2020 (7:07 pm)

        No worries. The way they’re playing now they’ll be lucky to stay out of last place! 

  • Luke August 18, 2020 (11:41 am)

    Trump’s gonna Trump 

    • Kim August 18, 2020 (4:42 pm)

      I see a lot of people who might be contributing to the spread of the deadly virus 🦠.  I would not say that if I saw the photo last summer, but seeing large groups of people doing anything now is affecting how the virus continues to spread in the United States. Right now due to the virus any large gathering of people is irresponsible and needs to stop or the United States will be unable to stop this deadly virus that has continued to spread.. 

  • AS August 18, 2020 (11:47 am)

    Wow!! Why am I not surprised. Smh.

  • AMD August 18, 2020 (11:49 am)

    On the plus side, there’s at least one fact-checker left in the world!

    • cjboffoli August 18, 2020 (4:21 pm)

      Ha! Though it certainly didn’t prevent them from allowing the upload of yet another copyrighted photo without permission, license or attribution. Facebook is a massive engine for copyright infringement and exploitation of visual artists.

  • anonyme August 18, 2020 (12:07 pm)

    I’m not laughing.  The “orange fool” will do anything to be re-elected, no matter who or what he destroys in the process (including democracy).  This example should be submitted to Snopes or other fact-checkers so that the lie can be exposed as soon as possible.

  • Eric Moon August 18, 2020 (12:09 pm)

    Ha! Walter Cronkite tweeting from beyond the grave seems like the bigger story here.

    • Jethro Marx August 18, 2020 (8:03 pm)

      I saw this post this morning and thought, that picture suspects the caption… but then, WAIT Cronkite tweets? And is still alive?

  • just wondering August 18, 2020 (12:55 pm)

    What number lie does this make for Trump? 

    • Latinos4Trump August 18, 2020 (9:35 pm)

      wait, politicians lie?

      • Carrie August 18, 2020 (10:13 pm)

        So he’s just another politician but worse at lying?

  • Jasmine August 18, 2020 (1:08 pm)

    Wow! As co-organizor of the event this blows my mind. 

  • sc August 18, 2020 (1:43 pm)

    Stupid is as stupid does” – Forrest Gump

    • Sue L. August 18, 2020 (6:18 pm)

      This is just the kind of misinformation that Trump loves to retweet. I’m so happy that you have called it out. We must continue to be vigilant, even when we put that jackass out of office. This is the age of misinformation. 

  • Sheila G August 18, 2020 (2:28 pm)

    Tracy, can you send this story to MSNBC? I bet Rachel Maddow might bring this disgusting lie to public attention.

    • CH August 18, 2020 (7:35 pm)

      I miss the good old days when satire was recognized for what it was.  This is a good local interest story because the photo was taken in West Seattle, and it belongs to the WSB, but it’s not a national scandal.  The tweet was meant to be funny, and for that we need Rachel Maddow?

      • ARPigeonPoint August 18, 2020 (11:48 pm)

        Did you miss the part where Trump retweeted it as fact? 

        • CH August 19, 2020 (11:47 am)

          Where exactly does it say that Trump retweeted it as fact?  Sounds to me like the original tweet caught a fact checker’s attention because of the retweet, which didn’t include any comment from Trump.

  • Flipzzzz August 18, 2020 (2:32 pm)

    As you all go in with the daggers against Trump and his handling of covid rule no 1 of this virus was to avoid crowds and to social distance Who is to blame here ?? Asking for a friend .

    • Anne August 18, 2020 (3:44 pm)

      What are you even talking about-the pic shows BLACK LIVES MATTER protest-not a protest about mail in voting-not about COVID. Calling out someone -president or not- for totally misrepresenting -dare we say lying-about this amazing protest is totally appropriate here. 

    • Devo August 18, 2020 (3:49 pm)

      Not a single comment has said anything related to COVID. Thanks for reminding the rest of us how Trump supporters can’t properly read 🤔

    • Kravitz August 18, 2020 (3:51 pm)

      @flipzzzz  Were you there? Damn near everyone that I saw at this protest was masked. And quite honestly, I feel that demanding justice and racial equality for all is/was worth the risk. Staying silent is not an option in our current times.  

    • Flipxxxxxxx August 18, 2020 (5:39 pm)

      Maybe flipzzzz wants to stay virus free and alive. Mask or no mask, people standing to close together. Stop the spread of deadly virus stay home 

      • JES August 19, 2020 (5:59 am)

        Black people want to stay alive too, which is what this is about. Racism is a pandemic. It is 100% possible to care about Covid and police brutality against Black people at the same time, weigh risks, and take precautions. Think about what a privileged position it is to think this isn’t as urgent as it is.

  • uncle loco August 18, 2020 (4:32 pm)

    More evidence of what a trash pit twitter is.

  • wendell August 18, 2020 (7:21 pm)

    I think they have Trump’s inauguration crowd-count beat by a couple of hundred.

  • dhg August 19, 2020 (11:11 am)

    Here’s the thing: There are tremendous forces at work to discredit liberals, democrats and anyone to the left of Attila the Hun.  This “humorous” tweet was suggesting that people are so afraid of standing in line to vote that they’ve assembled a protest for mail-in ballots, thereby negating the supposed fear of standing in line.  And therefore, this whole mail-in ballot push is a fraud. So this misinformation fits in with the narrative as told by Trump.  No amount of “it’s only a joke” makes this acceptable.    

  • RJB August 19, 2020 (10:13 pm)

    Trump is a joke…gone soon. BTW pretty much everyone at the BLM march and protest were wearing masks. 

  • Jared August 19, 2020 (11:20 pm)

    Former west sider here… this hit home BIG TIME. If I had a sign around my neck expressing my point of view and someone came up to me and changed my sign to express theirs, this would be socially unacceptable. And yet this is exactly what happens online, over and over, and over, and over again. Even worse these become memes that are then passed along by no one associated with the original sign nor the person that rudely modified it. All of this is perpetuated until the debate is no longer a conversation over either point of view but rather what is real or not. This is far beyond polarizing. This is undermining our ability to interpret the world around us. Dangerous times.No Joke. Social media is far beyond being weaponized. Lying is dangerous. Even on the internet. It has real consequences. If you are spreading another person’s lie you are culpable.

Sorry, comment time is over.