It's been said that America is more divided now than ever before.
The country currently finds itself in two camps with little hope of bridging the ideological gap. Both sides seemingly have the same set of facts but have come to two completely different conclusions — the consequences of the post-truth world.
2018: The year of "alternative facts," where "truth isn't truth."
And all of this chaos seemingly stems from one person with a Twitter account: @rebeccareilly__, or "becky."
On Aug. 24, becky sent a tweet that would eventually garner more than 20,000 retweets and 34,000 likes as of Aug. 31. The tweet asked a simple question and had a single photo attached.
"Is this a door or a beach??? Hahahaha😖🙄" she wrote.
Is this a door or a beach??? Hahahaha😖🙄 pic.twitter.com/f4DZ7MZzGy
— 𝕓𝕖𝕔𝕜𝕪 (@rebeccareilly__) August 24, 2018
To some, the photo seemed to be that of a white sandy beach on a cloudless sunny day — but oriented sideways. Others saw a blue door set into a teal door frame next to a white plaster wall.
Twitter users have replied more than 500 times to becky's tweet — and that doesn't include the users who started their own threads by included her tweet in a tweet of their own.
As in any debate, proponents of each side took the opportunity to present their case.
It's clearly a door wym pic.twitter.com/XlCwtMTTIw
— 𝐀𝐂𝐊𝐄𝐑𝐍𝐇𝐀𝐍𝐍 (@trngnhnlu) August 28, 2018
— Doctrine Ridge 🇰🇪 (@KhufuSphinx) August 28, 2018
Love a good green beach 👍
— Chris (@AlissonSaves) August 26, 2018
Its a door got a handle an everything what's wrong with ye pic.twitter.com/ackeDBHOfk
— davey g (@i8blue_noses) August 26, 2018
becky herself took the time to poll Twitter. With more than a quarter million votes cast, 54 percent of respondents said they saw a door, while 46 percent said they saw a beach.
— 𝕓𝕖𝕔𝕜𝕪 (@rebeccareilly__) August 25, 2018
*Note: The E.W. Scripps Company considers becky's poll an unscientific survey, and therefore cannot endorse the results.
On Aug. 27, becky responded to her own tweet, seemingly confirming the photo to be a beach.
Itsssssss aaaaaa pic.twitter.com/LhG5dTDj2e
— 𝕓𝕖𝕔𝕜𝕪 (@rebeccareilly__) August 27, 2018
But a forensic analysis of the photo seemingly debunks becky's claim. Twitter users noted that the pixels around the people seemed suspicious.
BUT, the perfectly square, pasted sections are even lower resolution, coincidently only around the people, which is what makes them stand out so much. 😁
— Chris Green (@greenie84UK) August 29, 2018
Was becky's follow-up tweet an earnest answer to her own question? Or was she further trying to divide a country already torn apart by The Dress, The Shoes and the Yanny/Laurel affair?
As of now, it's not clear. becky has not yet responded to a request for comment.
Hi Becky, can you confirm whether the photo in question is of a beach or a door? Thank you!
— Scripps National (@ScrippsNational) August 31, 2018
Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.