Recently, a photograph went viral on social media because it of the sheer power and emotion that it evokes. The picture captures two cheetahs attacking an impala but what makes it iconic is the impala’s reaction; unperturbed and unshaken. However, the picture was being shared with a story that said that the impala sacrificed itself to save its children and the photographer went into depression after clicking this series of pictures. Guess what, the story was completely made up.
The photographer, Alison Buttigieg, took to Facebook to say that she was appalled to read the fake story that’s doing the rounds stating that she went into depression after clicking the photographs. Here’s what she wrote.
A highlight of my photography career has turned into a nightmare. My Stranglehold photo went viral in a huge way with a completely ridiculous fake story accompanying it, and implications I fell into depression after I took it (seriously who comes up with this crap?!?) – not to mention the gross copyright violations. Sensationalism at its best – complete fiction so that people get more likes on their page. The photo with the fake story has been shared hundreds of thousands of times on various social media. I am getting inundated by hundreds and hundreds of messages asking me whether I am the “depressed photographer”. I have been tagged in LinkedIn with the fake story – that’s going to do wonders for my career. What a vile world we live in, full of stupid gullible people spreading #fakenews like crazy.
She also shared the link to the real story behind the photo which definitely wasn’t about the impala saving its babies. In fact, according to the photographer, it froze in fear. “What is out of the ordinary in this sequence of photos is how calm the impala is throughout its ordeal. It is probably in shock and thus paralysed with fear,” she wrote in her blog.