'Not cool': Story behind this viral 'climate rally' photo revealed

The world took notice when tens of thousands of protesters in cities across the globe took over the streets in The Global Strike 4 Climate.

In Sydney, more than 50,000 protesters flooded the Domain before marching down Macquarie Street to Hyde Park on Friday.

Following this massive turnout, an image allegedly showing Sydney’s Hyde Park littered with rubbish went viral after it was posted on the Australian Youth Coal Coalition Facebook page.

More than 50,000 protesters with placards participated in The Global Strike 4 Climate rally in Sydney on Friday. Source: AAP

“Look at the mess today’s climate protesters left behind in beautiful Hyde Park,” the post that accompanied the photo read.

“So much plastic. So much landfill. So sad.”

The photo was shared on social media more than 36,000 times, and provoked more than 8500 comments and 5000 reactions.

The post remained on the Facebook page for about 24 hours before being deleted.

But this was after people started to question the legitimacy of the image – and after it started to go viral.

“It’s not cool to lie,” one person said.

“I find this so hard to believe the climate protesters would leave this mess in Hyde Park,” another person added, according to News.com.au.

This image shared by the Australian Youth Coal Coalition has gone viral. Source: Facebook/Australian Youth Coal Coalition


And it didn’t take long before the actual location of where the photo had been taken was revealed.

The image in fact shows the aftermath of an “unofficial event” in London’s Hyde Park back in April, according to the Royal Parks’ official Twitter account.

At the time, the Hemp Trading Company’s Facebook page said the photo was from the Hyde Park 420 event.

Reddit users have also questioned if the Australian Youth Coal Coalition is a satire Facebook page, but some think they are still trying to prove a point.

“To those saying "it's a satire page" – it's part-satire, but it's not actually taking the piss out of coal supporters,” one person wrote on the online forum.

“This page is clearly a pisstake but so many... take it seriously, this is how misinformation spreads,” a second Reddit user said.

Yahoo News Australia has contacted Australian Youth Coal Coalition for comment.

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