War-themed video game fuels wave of Ukraine conflict misinformation

Troops battle through burning streets. Missiles take down fighter jets. Drones pulverize tanks. The dramatic visuals have the trappings of real-life combat, but they are clips from video games fueling misinformation.

Footage from the war-themed Arma 3 video game, often marked “live” or “breaking news” to make it appear genuine, has been used repeatedly in recent months in fake videos about the Russian offensive in Ukraine.

The frequency and ease with which gaming footage is mistaken as real, even by some media broadcasters, and shared as authentic news on social media highlights what researchers call its serious potential to spread misinformation.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
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