Hoax climate change photo shared more than 34,000 times outrages Facebook users
The Australian Youth Coal Coalition accused the climate change protesters of leaving rubbish behind at Hyde Park in Sydney. Photo / Facebook Tens of thousands of Australians marched against climate change - now one image has gone viral, for all the wrong reasons. Australia was one of the first countries to participate in the Global Strike 4 Climate protest on Friday that saw tens of thousands of people from cities all over the country taking part. Holding picket signs in the air, the masses, including schoolchildren, were seen marching through their respective cities as they chanted loud and far for a change to environmental policies ahead of the UN Emergency Climate Summit. Melbourne had an estimated 100,000 people rallying, while Sydney had 80,000 and Hobart 22,000. And while protesters made their point loud and clear in droves, there has been one image floating across social media that has now gone viral. The Australian Youth Coal Coalition (AYCC), which has more than 3000 Facebook followers, took aim at the hundreds of thousands of protesters by posting a photo of rubbish they claim was left behind at a Sydney park. "Look at the mess today's climate protesters left behind in beautiful Hyde Park. So much plastic. So much landfill. So sad," the group shared on its Facebook page. The post has been shared more than 34,000 times with nearly 10,000 comments mainly condemning the students for making the mess. However, not all is at it seems. Many people were convinced the image was fake and questioned its authenticity. "I find this so hard to believe the Climate Protesters would leave this mess in Hyde Park," one person wrote. "Or it's a random photo shared to mislead. There is no credit, nothing to identify and support the claim," added another. "It's not cool to lie guys," said a third. And they were right. The photo of the rubbish isn't of Hyde Park in Sydney in fact, it's not even of a park in Australia. So where is it from? IMPORTANT EDIT: a lot of people are misreading this post. This was the aftermath of Hyde Park 420 - and was *cleaned up*... The photo was taken at Hyde Park 420, in London, after an annual celebration to do with marijuana in April this year. One day after the event, The Hemp Trading Company posted the image to their Facebook page, explaining the mess left behind was cleaned up by Extinction Rebellion protesters, who had demonstrated nearby. "With #extinctionrebellion not yards away, so many of you couldn't be bothered to clean up after yourselves ... #cannabiscommunity you can do better you need to do better," the post had read. Two days after Hemp Trading's post, Royal Parks, the charity that looks after London's eight royal parks, were forced to clarify misleading information that also did the rounds on social media during that specific event. There's a lot of incorrect information doing the Twitter rounds this morning. This photo is the result of an unofficial event in Hyde Park on Saturday, not the #ExtinctionRebellion protestors in Marble Arch. It costs us millions to clear #litter every year. Please take it home. pic.twitter.com/F1JtAqmnVO "There's a lot of incorrect information doing the Twitter rounds this morning. This photo is the result of an unofficial event in Hyde Park on Saturday, not the #ExtinctionRebellion protesters in Marble Arch." It was an image unrelated to the recent, worldwide climate change protests, but the AYCC have continued to back their claim by posting another image on Saturday morning of a clean park. "After the mess left behind by the climate protesters, a group of young coal supporters volunteered to do a big clean up," the caption on the image read. "Only rubbish I can see is your post. These stunts call into question the ethics, probity and judgment of all other public positions you have taken. If you can't participate in public discourse without this kind of corrosive malfeasance, your soapbox should be kicked out from under you," a second said. "So you guys built a time machine to go back and clean up a mess from a pro cannabis rally in April. Wow. Dedication," a third said. The AYCC have since deleted the two posts. News.com.au has contacted the Facebook group for comment. This image is circulating on Facebook, as Australians claim its from the Sydney #climatestrike yesterday. Its not. A quick reverse image search shows Its from Hyde Park in LONDON, from April, from a totally different rally pic.twitter.com/jM9n7kCzcn Climate change has made record-breaking heat twice as likely as record-setting cold temperatures over the past two decades in the contiguous US, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data. Marches, rallies and demonstrations have been held from Canberra to Kabul and Cape Town to New York. Nations around the world recommitted at a 2015 summit in Paris to hold warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) more than pre-industrial-era levels by the end of this century, and they added a more ambitious goal of limiting the increaseto 1.5 C (2.7F). But US President Donald Trump subsequently announced that he would withdraw the US from the agreement, which he said benefited other nations at the expense of American businesses and taxpayers. The aftermath of todays climate change gathering in Hyde Park. pic.twitter.com/ZVmUvmvdNl Trump called global warming a "hoax" before becoming president. He has since said he's "not denying climate change" but is not convinced it's man-made or permanent. Friday's demonstrations started in Australia, where organisers estimated 300,000 protesters marched in 110 towns and cities, including Sydney and Canberra. Demonstrators called for their country, the world's largest exporter of coal and liquid natural gas, to take more drastic action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack - filling in while Prime Minister Scott Morrison was on a state visit to the United States - said Australia was already taking action to cut emissions. McCormack called the climate rallies "a disruption" that should have been held on a weekend to avoid inconveniences. Over 4 million on #ClimateStrike today. In 163 countries. And counting... If you belong to the small number of people who feel threatened by us, then we we have some very bad news for you: This is just the beginning. Change is coming - like it or not. #FridaysForFuture pic.twitter.com/MHGRNx1tnH Many middle schools in largely coal-reliant Poland gave students the day off so they could participate in the rallies in Warsaw and other cities. President Andrzej Duda joined school students picking up trash in a forest. German police said more than 100,000 people gathered in front of Berlin's landmark Brandenburg Gate, near where Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet thrashed out the final details of a 54 billion euro ($60 billion) plan to curb Germany's greenhouse gas emissions. Thousands of schoolchildren and their adult supporters demonstrated in London outside the British Parliament. The British government said it endorsed the protesters' message but did not condone skipping school - a stance that did not sit well with some of the young protesters. "If politicians were taking the appropriate action we need and had been taking this action a long time ago when it was recognised the world was changing in a negative way, then I would not have to be skipping school," said Jessica Ahmed, a 16-year-old London student. Congratulate all involved with #PuriBeachCleanup . We are all in this together, the fight against climate change and for a better future of our upcoming generations. pic.twitter.com/97M9PaBLfs We are not drowning. We are fighting! A chant that changes the narrative of pacific people from being mere victims of climate change to one of resilience. #niupawa the tree that sustains is and #MatagiMalohi the winds of change. pic.twitter.com/tfNp1PQy1c In Helsinki, the Finnish capital, a man dressed as Santa Claus stood outside parliament holding a sign: "My house is on fire,my reindeer can't swim." Smaller protests took place in Asia, including in Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Hong Kong and India. In the Afghan capital of Kabul, an armoured personnel carrier was deployed to protect about 100 young people as they marched, led by a group of several young women carrying a banner emblazoned with "Fridays for Future." "We know war can kill a group of people," said Fardeen Barakzai, one of the organisers. "The problem in Afghanistan is our leaders are fighting for power, but the real power is in nature." Coast guard boat rams dingy throwing around 50 migrants into sea.