Fake photos and footage spread across social media as conflict in Ukraine erupts

February 25, 2022

KCBS Radio

When Russia launched an attack on Ukraine earlier this week, people around the world watched in shock and horror as airstrikes hit the country and tanks began rolling in.

"The prayers of the world are with the people of Ukraine tonight as they suffer an unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces," wrote President Joe Biden in a tweet Wednesday night.

But in the last few days, it's become clear that while some of the footage and images being disseminated across social media are depicting the tragic beginnings of a new war, some are not actually what they appear...

According to Ethan Porter, an assistant professor of media and public affairs at George Washington University and with the Misinformation/Disinformation Lab at the George Washington Institute for Data, Democracy & Politics, the spreading of disinformation during wartime is nothing new.

"The challenge here is that this is like a hot war, that's broken out in a country that has lots of access to media, lots of access to social media in particular," he said. "And it's broke out in a time where Tiktok, YouTube and other platforms make communicating via video really easy."

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