Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are being inundated with photographs like you can see below. The general premise is the same. A member of a branch of our armed services is holding a handwritten sign expressing his or her discontent with the possibility of an attack on Syria, but holding in such a way to conceal their faces whilst making sure that it is overwhelmingly obvious that they are indeed a member of some part of the United States military.
The photographs are serving their purpose very effectively. On Facebook, these photos can easily amass thousands of “Likes” in a matter of minutes. People in America are weary of war, and many feel that the current situation in Syria is none of our concern, so there is plenty of unrest about the situation, and to see a member of our armed forces expressing that same discontent really pulls on those heartstrings. A lot of you are probably visiting this article wanting to know if these photographs are real. While we cannot give you a definitive answer, we can shed a little light that may help you form your own opinion.
First of all, we will point out a couple of obvious points. One: none of the photographs below really prove anything. The insinuation of the photograph is one thing, but in reality, anyone can dress up like this and do what they did. Is it a great strategy if someone came up with the idea to try to create more attention for protests against the possible Syrian operation? Absolutely. Social media is akin to a wildfire, and these photographs are making the rounds. We’re not saying they are fake; we are saying that there is no definitive proof to prove to us that they are real.
Secondly, there are plenty of vultures circling at any given time in Internet-land. Rest assured that these photographs garner a lot of attention. The amount of Facebook “likes” and shares of equivalent value on other social media platforms makes these photographs very valuable. Even if one of these really is authentic and one of our soldiers wanting to express their discontent, it is highly, highly unlikely that all of them are real. Why? Because those out there that try to feast on things like this to harvest “Likes” will have seen what one of these is doing and they will jump all over it to make it happen. So, basically, even if one of these was real, the copycats are probably not real and designed to make profit. See, Facebook allows people to start pages like this, get thousands of “Likes” by touching on a sensitive subject, and then they can sell the completely modifiable page to a business for hundreds or even thousands. Then, they change everything…suddenly, they have a page with a 100,000 “Likes” and you can’t even tell how it all started.
So, the final word: we don’t know. You don’t know. Is it perfectly reasonable to assume that maybe our soldiers have had enough? Sure. But would they have chosen to express that sentiment in this way? Well, maybe. In the meantime, we encourage you to remember that sometimes you see what you want to see more than what is really there.