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Etienne Klein, with his joke, wanted to show how easy it is for netizens to believe fakes.
The head of the French Atomic Energy Commission, Etienne Klein, decided to prank his followers on Twitter by posting a photo of a slice of Spanish chorizo sausage. Under the image, the physicist left the caption: “Photograph of Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Sun, located 4.2 light years from us. It was taken by the James Webb telescope. Such a level of detail … Day after day, a new world opens up.”
The scientist was believed, thousands of people retweeted his post. A few days later, Klein apologized to 90 thousand subscribers for his joke.
“I decided to apologize to those who might be shocked by my hoax, by no means original. I just wanted to urge you to be careful with images that seem eloquent in themselves,” wrote on “Twitter” Klein – According to modern cosmology, no object related to the Spanish sausage exists anywhere except the Earth.
Etienne Klein explained to Lepoint journalists that his intentions were primarily educational for netizens.
“This is my first joke as a scientific authority. The good news is that some people immediately understood the deception, but others for It took two tweets to explain,” the physicist said. “It also illustrates the fact that on this type of social media, fake news is always more successful than real news. I also think that if I hadn't said it was a photo of “James Webb,” She wouldn't be as successful.”
“Photograph of the Chariot galaxy and its companion galaxies. It is located at a distance of 500 million light years. She, was undoubtedly spiral in the past, but acquired this strange appearance after the cluster of galaxies,” Klein told subscribers.