How a video game has been used to create fake news about the Ukraine war
Since February, several Facebook and Twitter accounts versed in disinformation have been regularly sharing impressive videos purporting to show the war in Ukraine. But these viral images actually come from a video game called Arma 3. How can you spot these realistic spoofs that have even fooled international media? In this episode, the Truth or Fake team asks Pavel Křižka, representative of Bohemia Interactive, the company that developed Arma 3.
The Russian army destroying a convoy of NATO advisors in Ukraine? That was what pro-Russian accounts claimed to show in a video shared widely on Facebook in October. The video seemed to show a line of armoured vehicles destroyed by missiles.
But this impressive video really had nothing to do with the war in Ukraine. It was a capture from a video game called Arma 3.
Arma 3 is a highly realistic video game which has, in the past, been the game of choice for spreaders of disinformation online. Other images taken from Arma 3 were used last June to claim that NATO helicopters had been shot down in Ukraine. And images from the game have even been used by official TV broadcasters.
So, why is this game used so widely to share fake news? And how can you tell the difference between a game capture and a real video? The Truth or Fake team spoke to Pavel Křižka from Bohemia Interactive, the company that developed Arma 3, to get some tips.