About fake viral images When an image "goes viral" it means that something about the image is compelling, intriguing, or bizarre, which inspires numerous people to share it with others. Sometimes these images are humorous. But it's relatively common for them to also be fake because hoaxers purposefully try to create dramatic, attention-grabbing scenes that people will want to share. They do this by changing or distorting an element within a photo, or by recaptioning 'real' images to make them tell a more interesting story. Fake viral images have become a hallmark of the Internet.