Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Lying clickbait: Historical photos that aren’t

History is full of great photographs. So why do online content promotion services like Taboola insist on using deceptive photos with their articles?
Time and time again when I see a link to an article about “shocking” historic photos, it uses a photo that isn’t historic. Often it’s a relatively recent photo. And usually it’s a picture of a strikingly attractive woman.
Here are some examples:
One sponsored link by Taboola was headlined “Rarely seen historical photos from the past that are jaw dropping.” It featured a sepia-toned photo of a woman in a swimsuit leaning against a classic Porsche sports car and taking a Polaroid photo.
It’s not an historical photo. It’s from a series of color photographs by Kate Bellm. (Check out her website and her Tumblr blog.)
The photos appear to be from 2012, based on a Porsche fan’s blog post that featured the pictures.

Another Taboola-sponsored link carried the headline “23 Woodstock photos that will make your skin crawl.” It featured a black-and-white photo of two attractive hippie chicks in a van.
Too bad it’s not from the Woodstock festival, which took place in August 1969. The picture was taken in 2012 by Matias Arado V., aka Matiasarado. The ladies pictured are identified as models Julia and Jaz.

Yet another Taboola-sponsored link had the headline “Historical WW2 photos that are pretty unnerving.” It was illustrated with a black-and-white photo of a sexy woman wearing military-themed lingerie. But the photo isn’t from the 1940s. It’s a 2014 photo by Mark Goodman, part of a series on pinup girls and vintage planes.

One more Taboola-sponsored link was titled “10 rare historical photos declassified.” It featured a photo of a woman splattered with what looks like blood. It’s actually a photo from the 2015 La Tomatina, the world’s largest tomato-throwing festival, which takes place in Spain.
Again, this photo isn’t rare, was never classified and is hardly historical.
The photo in question was taken by David Ramos. (See articles by the International Business Times and Bored Panda.)

And finally (for this post at least), a sponsored article was headlined “43 unsettling historical photos: Unsettling historical photos that will give you a new perspective.” It featured a braless young lady roller-skating with three young boys.
At least this photo is old, from the 1970s, but it’s hardly unsettling unless you’re a brassiere maker worried about losing business.
The photo has been featured on Vintage Everyday, Imgur and Classic Pics.

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