Plenty of footage has come out now of the tornadoes that ripped through southwest Michigan on May 7th, and what we've seen has been impressive. Footage from storm chasers headed along Highway 131 and along I-94 show a large tornado as it moved into the Portage area, and people living in St. Joseph and Branch Counties even catching the large "stove pipe" tornado that prompted Michigan's first ever Tornado Emergency.

But the problem with these videos is, some of them aren't what they appear to be. In fact, many videos are going around now of tornadoes with the original poster CLAIMING that they're they tornado from May 7th. They're not, and there are ways to figure out if you're being duped or not.

107.7 WRKR-FM logo
Get our free mobile app

There's plenty of footage of tornadoes that exist on the internet from all over the country. With the onslaught of mobile phones with high quality cameras, great footage isn't as uncommon as it used to be.

So the idea that some regular person could post a great video from their own account without being a meteorologist, or storm chaser isn't out of the question. But, it is good to question whether that person's video is even real.

Case and point, this video posted by Amanda Danger on Facebook, copied from an account on TikTok called @disaster.1111. The video is showing multiple tornadoes with the captions "Tornado in Michigan today" and then puts the date at the bottom of the video.

Immediately, you can tell something isn't right with these videos, as ALL of the tornadoes look different, the skies are different colors, they're shot at different times of day, and the landscape around them is far different in some cases from what southwest Michigan would look like in May.

And if you follow the news at all, some of these tornadoes may look familiar. The first one is actually from the Nebraska tornadoes on May 3rd, and highway signs clearly indicate that some of this footage isn't being shot in Michigan. Also, clearly, the last bit of footage is computer generated.

This happens after every major storm unfortunately. People will take readily available footage with no attribution to it, and claim it as their own, and slap a timestamp on it to "prove" it's from a specific storm, and they do this for clicks, likes, and engagement on their social media accounts.

It's a dumb reason, but some people live by these metrics anymore.

Another person here, @user8268843488217 (definitely a real person), even uses real information about the tornado emergency declared and the FedEx facility being damaged. But then provides footage that is largely fake, or not even from the storms that went through southwest Michigan. Yet his video has more than 14,000 views.


@user8268843488217 Tornado Hits Southern Michigan; Rare Tornado Emergency Declared, FedEx Facility Damaged#fyp #foryou #breakingnews ♬ original sound - 1breakingnews

There are ways, though, you can better verify a tornado video, to be SURE it's from the May 7th storms. First, look at who is posting the video. If the account name seems fake, like "disaster.111," then it probably is. Don't trust it.

Also, look for verification and attribution. If the person posting is sharing someone else's footage, be sure they're properly crediting who shot the video in their comments, or within the post. If not, chances are, it's a fake.

And finally, by now, we've seen on the local news, what these storms looked like, and have a pretty good idea of the shape of the tornadoes as they tracked through the area. If it doesn't look familiar... or even if it looks TOO familiar... like maybe someone took it out of a movie clip... then it's probably fake.

But the number one reliable source you can trust when it comes to tornado footage, and the damage afterward, is local news outlets. For example, WWMT will tell you the storm that went through Portage was tough to see, and not much footage from it exists. But also provides vide from the other storm, with credits to the original posters, and verifies it.  

@wwmtnews Dangerous tornadoes move through West Michigan. Stay with News Channel 3 as we work to protect and alert you. #localnews #tornado #westmichigan #weatheralert #protect #alert ♬ original sound - News Channel 3

Only 5,000 views, but it's the real deal.

Bottom line, before blindly sharing "footage of the May 7th tornadoes in Michigan," make sure you're actually sharing real footage of the storms, and not just stroking someone's online ego by giving them the views and likes they can't seem to live without.

Tornado Damage in Southwest Michigan on May 7th, 2024

Needs & Assistance From May 7th Tornado in SouthWest Michigan

More From 107.7 WRKR-FM