The Washington Post

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

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 is The Post’s digital culture critic. Follow her on Twitter @caitlindewey or subscribe to her daily newsletter on all things Internet. (



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Dana Hedgpeth · October 11, 2013

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