“And so it begins … ISIS flag among refugees in Germany fighting the police,” blared the headline on the Conservative Post; “with this new leaked picture, everything seems confirmed”. The image in question purported to show a group of Syrian refugees holding ISIS flags and attacking German police officers.
Only it was a fake. It’s fairly easy to find photo or video ‘evidence’ to bolster a scurrilous political position (in this case, the anti-immigration argument that we are allowing Islamist infiltration), and the resulting misinformation can easily go viral. Corrections by investigative journalists or private citizens do not get anything like the notice that the original lies did. Here are six tools for digital information verification.