The Pentagon explosion that wasn’t shows perils of polluted information ecosystem

REAL FAKE NEWS: It was a beautiful spring Monday in Washington when officials and reporters in the Pentagon began to be barraged with questions about a reported explosion outside the building, which according to a photo that quickly went viral, was sending a massive plume of black smoke into the air. It was quickly revealed to be a hoax.

“There's no explosion or fire at or near the Pentagon-apparently these are false reports circulating on social media,” tweeted Voice of America correspondent Carla Babb. “People inside the building have absolutely no idea about any explosion.”

To anyone familiar with the Pentagon, the photo was obviously fake, or at the very least, not the Pentagon. The building pictured was too tall and looked nothing like the iconic five-sided building.