HOUSTON — A picture purporting to show former President Barack Obama helping serve meals in Houston, Texas, in the wake of Hurricane Harvey was shared thousands of times on Twitter this weekend. The photograph, however, is two years old and was taken at a homeless shelter in Washington during Thanksgiving.
The picture was shared on Twitter Saturday with the text “Something you’ll never see Trump do: Obama is in Texas serving meals!” As of Monday morning it had more than 7,000 retweets.
When other tweeters called the poster out on the error, he replied, “Sorry for people thinking this was in texas (he was there) but this is from 2015.” A representative for Obama told CNN the former president was not in Texas.
When contacted by CNN on Monday, the person who originally posted the tweet said they had deleted it.
While Obama was not in Texas serving food, he did tweet a link to the American Red Cross on Sunday encouraging people to help.
The Obama picture is not the only piece of misinformation circulating about the storm. Some social media users are sharing pictures purporting to show sharks swimming in Houston’s flood waters. The pictures are not from Houston and some of them have been digitally manipulated.
Local government agencies have also worked to tackle rumors circulating online. Houston’s Office of Emergency Management tweeted on Sunday that the city was not shutting off water. While in Corpus Christi, officials dismissed a rumor circulating on Facebook that people were not allowed to re-enter the city.