We want you to be able to write, certainly. But in the 21st century, more of our communication is accomplished visually than verbally, so a good course in argument or thinking should include a healthy dose of training in making persuasive images.
Yesterday, someone posted an image to a facebook group in my little town that was pretty clearly fake news, but maybe not to everybody.
Maybe you’ve seen this around the ‘net. It’s funny, and it has just enough plausibility to make a reader wonder, “Wow, I’ll bet that worked out really well.” But it’s also a little bothersome because the person who posted it in no way indicated it was a joke.
I checked at Snopes.com (highly recommended when something seems suspicious) to see if this was a one-off.
Snopes.com told me something else:
Some versions of this image carried a watermark for Break Your Own News, a website that allows users to generate their own news headlines.
So, off I went to BreakYourOwnNews.com to see if I could track down the origin of this joke. This is what I found.
I quickly made a bit of frightening personal news about my beloved little dog, Shelby, half beagle, half dachshund, whom I had photographed one day when her eye was sleepy and she was sheltering beneath my desk.
I posted it as a Reply to the “Russia Releases Lions” image to demonstrate how easy it is to mimic legitimate news. And then I went too far.
I suggested to the person who had posted the Lions photo that it would be all too easy to fill his Facebook feed with fake news that could be very disturbing and create real havoc. That image was taken down by the group’s Admins shortly after, but the “Russians Release Lions” post remains. So apparently nobody learned anything from my admittedly annoying reprimand.
Non-Portfolio Task: Make Fake News about COVID-19
The interface is VERY simple.
- Navigate to https://breakyourownnews.com/
- Upload a picture
- Write a Headline and some supporting text.
- Download the image and publish it in a post on our blog in the Fake News category.