Wednesday 21 November 2018

Padraig Belton: Photoshopped screenshots and doctored tweets ... how the world isn’t always what it seems


MUCH of the last week, Twitter and Facebook overflowed with a screenshot of Fox News at its worst, misspelling Toulouse as 'Toolooz', placing France in Turkey, misnaming its president and suggesting a 'Crazy Buddhist' was responsible for a week's terrible killings; 'President' Claude Guéant had apologised to the 'Asian' community.

The only problem is, the screen-shot is photoshopped; the actual image of anchor Shannon Bream (here, before and after alteration) dates from a year ago, 5th June 2011; but it was too good not to be true.

This isn't rare. Begin typing Brian Cowen into Google, and instantly you are offered 'Brian Cowen drunk'. In September 2010, The Guardian circulated a clipping of, indeed, an Offaly man's wrist-slicingly slow slurs; the clipping lasts an unendurable 10 minutes, 35 seconds. The only problem is, the interview as broadcast on RTÉ's Morning Ireland lasted 9 minutes, 25 seconds. The Guardian were duped, by a Tesco Basic forgery; wrongly embedding (in their own words) 'a parody of the interview … in the original article'.

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