Faking news and doctoring images is easier than ever nowadays, but sadly, it’s not reserved for “light” stuff that people share on Instagram. Fox News was recently accused of reporting fake news, and they got busted thanks to badly photoshopped images. And I mean really badly!
Fox News covered the news about Seattle’s Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) which was established in the midst of Black Lives Matter protests. However, the Seattle Times noticed that something was off. In one of the articles, there was an image that was quite clearly altered. It makes it look as if a gunman is standing in front of a sign reading “You are now entering Free Cap Hill.” But just look at his left arm (and everything else on this photo mashup, honestly).
According to the Seattle Times, Fox combined two different photos that were even taken on different occasions. What’s more, Fox also published a photo that shows a man running through the streets of a burning city. It was titled “CRAZY TOWN” and also related to the news on the George Floyd protests. But as the Seattle Times writes, the photo was actually taken at St. Paul, Minnesota, on 30 May.
Fox News' Photoshopping of images covering CHAZ extends to intentionally miscaptioning images of burning burnings and wrecked vehicles from Minneapolis riots. Complete lack of journalistic integrity. https://t.co/prkoQGZUny via @reddit pic.twitter.com/53YyjeLgIP
— Disrupt MediaLab (@dmedialab) June 13, 2020
The same source points out that Fox’s site had no disclaimers to clarify that the photos had been manipulated. After they reached out to Fox News, the network reportedly removed both images from the article. They also issued an apology saying that “Fox News regrets these errors.”
At the time of writing this article, neither of the altered images is no longer on Fox News’ website. I’ll withhold from commenting, but I’ll just use this case to remind you to always think critically and double-check the images you see in the news. But honestly, with Photoshop fails like this one, even a single glance is enough.