Viral #BidenEmptyShelves photos of bare stores are actually from Trump’s America and Australia

Social media has been flooded with fake or misleading images that show food shortages in ‘Biden’s America’

Bevan Hurley
In New York
Tuesday 19 October 2021 17:58
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Images claiming to show bare supermarket shelves under Joe Biden which have been viewed millions of times on social media have been found to be fake or misleading.

Facebook and Twitter have been flooded with memes using hashtags like #BareShelvesBiden and #BidenEmptyShelves which depict barren grocery store shelves, and have been seized on as proof that the global supply chain woes are causing food shortages across the United States.

But using reverse image searches, fact checkers have worked out that the photos are miscaptioned or entirely fake, and have often been cherry-picked from unrelated events such as the aftermath of extreme weather events.

The Associated Press reported that one meme claiming to show a photograph of grocery store shelves fully stocked with soup cans from “Trump’s America” was actually captured in 2012 in Australia.

Another image of nearly empty grocery store shelves is from “Biden’s America” was taken after a hurricane in South Carolina in 2018, when Mr Trump was president.

Some grocery stores have temporarily struggled to keep shelves stocked during the pandemic but these images misrepresent the situation.

Reuters fact-checkers found similar posts have been faked.

Fact-checkers have found several images showing empty shelves were miscaptioned or faked

An image showing an empty shelf with soda boxes in the background was taken on February 2021 in Houston, soon after the Texas freeze that caused a shortage of food and clean water.

Reuters reported supply chains have been gummed up by robust demand as economies emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to more than $10 trillion in global economic stimulus, about half of it in the United States. The coronavirus pandemic has caused a global shortage of workers needed to produce raw materials and move goods from factories to consumers.

Some versions of the picture have been edited to include an image of Mr Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

Some of the misleading posts have been taken down, while Facebook has been labelling them as “false information”, with a link to a fact-checking article posted below.

Reuters reported supply chains have been gummed up by robust demand as economies emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, thanks to more than $10 trillion in global economic stimulus, about half of it in the United States.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused a global shortage of workers needed to produce raw materials and move goods from factories to consumers.

Supply-chain disruptions during the pandemic have caused some grocery stores to have inconsistent inventory, but there are no widespread supply-chain disruptions currently, nor any nationwide food shortages, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

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