We have always heard it, “not everything you see on the Internet is true” and it is not for less, the fake news they have become recurrent, so from time to time it can be difficult to determine when some content is not completely truthful, especially if we consider that it comes from a reliable source.
When we talk about fake news, obviously suspicious media portals and their articles are one of the most common forms of disinformation. However, this is not always the case and a scientist wanted to prove it, although in the attempt, he ended up getting into serious trouble and had to apologize. Next we tell you.
On July 31, the renowned French scientist Étienne Klein, Director of Research at the Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), had the brilliant idea of posting a photo of a slice of Spanish chorizo on a black background on Twitter, assuring that It was nothing more and nothing less than an image of the closest star to the sun, Proxima Centauri, captured with NASA’s brand new James Webb Space Telescope:
Photo of Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Sun, located 4.2 light years from us. It was captured by the James Webb Space Telescope. This level of detail. A new world is revealed day after day.
Unsurprisingly, the internet quickly freaked out, as each new James Webb revelation is a source of fascination, so Klein’s tweet was shared and commented on thousands of times. Since he came from a prestigious scientist, Internet users were far from imagining that it was a joke until, later, Étienne himself confessed that the unusual revelation was nothing more than an insignificant and ridiculous slice of sausage.
Well, at aperitif time, cognitive biases seem to have their field day. Be careful, then, with them. According to contemporary cosmology, no relevant object for Spanish delicatessen exists anywhere other than on Earth.
Logically, the enthusiasm of all those who were amazed by the extraordinary snapshot collapsed. However, the thing did not end there, because of his joke in bad taste, Klein faced the fury of the members of the scientific community.
On August 3, the CEA Research Director apologized for the deception and said that his intention was “to urge caution with the images that seem to speak for themselves.” In an attempt to redeem himself, Étienne shared an image of the spectacular Cartwheel galaxy, assuring his followers that this time the photo was genuine.
I come to apologize to those who may have been scandalized by my false news, which was in no way original. I simply wanted to urge caution with images that seem eloquent on their own.