Viral photo from Beltway trucker protest actually from an event last May

October 11, 2013

A picture circulating in some corners of the Internet shows a huge convoy of tractors, tractor trailers and pickup trucks seemingly bound for Capital Beltway as part of a trucker protest.

The only problem? The photo was actually taken in May at a Make-a-Wish Foundation fundraiser in Lancaster, Penn.

Here’s a screenshot of a tweet sharing that photo, taken shortly before the tweet was deleted on Friday afternoon:

(Sceenshot taken from Twitter)
(Sceenshot taken from Twitter)

The confusion involves a group of truckers calling itself “Truckers Ride for the Constitution,” which had promised to organize a protest rally that could potentially tie up traffic on the Beltway.

But the turnout has been a bit disappointing, as my colleagues Dana Hedgpeth and Lori Aratani reported Friday morning: Only 30 or so truckers came out for the event, and most of this morning’s traffic resulted from D.C.’s miserable, rainy weather, not any truck-induced congestion on the road. The rain is notably missing in that Make-a-Wish photograph.

Unfortunately, that anomaly didn’t stop the photo from gaining traction on Facebook and Twitter. A post about the photo on one right-wing blog, The D.C. Clothesline, was shared nearly 600 times. The blogger, Dean Garrison, has since noted that “I was told by a reader that this was not taken yesterday but was from a prior event.”

It’s unclear exactly how many trucks are out on the Beltway for the protest, but an estimated 30 were out Friday morning. The Make-a-Wish rally, for the record, had 332.

Caitlin Dewey runs The Intersect blog, writing about digital and Internet culture. Before joining the Post, she was an associate online editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.
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