How Photos Fuel the Spread of Fake News
During a campaign stop in South Carolina last winter, Hillary Clinton stumbled as she climbed the steps of an antebellum mansion in Charleston. Aides helped her regain her balance in a vulnerable but nondescript moment captured by Getty photographer Mark Makela. He didn’t think much of it until August, when the alt-right news site Breitbart touted it as evidence of Clinton’s failing health. “It was really bizarre and dispiriting to see,” he says. “We’re always attuned to photographic manipulation, but what was more sinister in this situation was the misappropriation of a photo.” Misappropriation and misrepresentation of images helped drive the growth of fake news. Such stories rely on images to sell bogus narratives. This rise has been driven both by the preponderance of images available online, and the ease with which they can be manipulated. Photos play a key role in making fake news stories go viral by bolstering the emotional tenor of the lie. Go Back to Top.
• Fake news
• Fake News
• Digital, Media, and News Literacy (Part I)