It is hard to find anything remotely funny about Wednesday’s assault on our nation’s democracy after protestors literally stormed the Capitol Building. However, a photo shared across social media has managed to bring out a bit of humor. It wasn’t the actual image of a man holding/stealing a podium from House chambers that was humorous as that was photo should make every American angry.
It was the response after Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza), chief Washington correspondent for Politico and senor political analyst at CNN, posted the photo on Twitter, “Via Getty, one the rioters steals a podium from the Capitol”
That was quickly followed by users on Twitter – so many users – calling for the arrest of “Via Getty.”
This included Twitter user @RoryCam54436826, who posted “And now we know his name is Via Getty (wtf kind of name is that, anyway?) can’t someone just go to his house, arrest him on his return and bring Nancy back her podium?”
MORE FOR YOU
@mrviper added, “It says right there that his name is ‘Via Getty'”
@AsadKara was to the point, “Arrest Via Getty”
Fortunately some Twitter users actually understand English grammar including @AriOverby, who tweeted, “The photo comes via Getty Images. Here Ryan has kind of assumed people would know what Getty Images is and since it was the first word in a sentence, via is capitalized.”
Jeffrey Hulten (@jhulten) also responded to the confusion, “Assuming you misunderstood like many did, ‘Via Getty’ in this case means the photo came from Getty Images.”
Sherrie Sampson (@bgratefull) saw the humor in it too – posting, “May we get a photo ‘Via Getty’ when he booked in jail for a federal offense.”
As the week ended, the humor of this grammatical misunderstanding continued.
@IHaveMyMoMents1 felt the need to share maybe a bit too much, “I’m pushing mid-40’s, but I’m gonna get pregnant so I can name my baby Via Getty. The trick is going to be convincing my husband that a fifth child was HIS idea. Thinking face #ViaGetty”
Unfortunately it wasn’t just Americans and the U.S. media that picked up this story. The official Twitter account for the International Business Times Public Chat from India saw this trending on Twitter, “Internet is losing it over Via Getty, the person who stole US Capitol Podium – Except, Via Getty is not the name of the rioter”
And of course there was nitpicking, not in the misunderstanding that “Via Getty” wasn’t the person’s name but that it wasn’t technically a “podium.”
David N. Hackney MD (@DavidNHackney) noted, “Even in times of great darkness I feel compelled to say: it’s actually a ‘lectern’. A ‘podium’ is the raised platform you stand on. It shares the same Latin root for feet as ‘podiatry’, which is how you remember the difference”
While this “Via Getty” misunderstanding brings some humor to what was truly one of the most unfortunate and even disgusting events in our nation’s history, it highlights too that social media can spread misinformation so very quickly.
Imagine if the wrong person was identified in a photo. Already people have lost their jobs for being part of the riot and rightfully so. Storming the Capitol Building was a criminal act. However, as we’ve seen in past events people can be misidentified on social media and that is no laughing matter.