How To Create Fake Viral News With Just A Printer And A Twitter Account
Anybody can create fake news and incite hate with just a printer and their imagination. What does that say about the world we live in?
So you’ve woken up today and decided to create some fake news.
You could go for a jog or go meet friends but I guess some people just get better kicks by stirring up hate on the internet.
Perhaps there’s some racial minority that you’re trying to agitate against?
Some political opponent that you’re trying to slur?
Whatever your objective is, I’m here to show you how easily it can be done.
Make yourself a cup of coffee and strap in for the ride. It’s only going to take three minutes.
Get Your Gear Together
The good news for prospective fake news spreaders is that we live in the age of social media. Oh, and inkjet printers are pretty cheap. Barriers to entry for online haters have fallen in recent years so there’s arguably never been a better time to get in on the action.
No toner required. A4 paper you’ll need, though. Sorry.
After deciding who your adversary is, you’re going to want to get your gear in place.
Let’s say that we wanted to defame the State of Israel.
It’s a popular target among liberals and the just generally angry, after all.
One option would be to pretend that a non-existent political hate rally took place in that country. There are other tactics you could employ, of course. But let’s focus on a simple one for this case study.
If you’re trying to incite anger among Irish Twitter users, for instance, it would be worth claiming that hordes of angry Zionists were intent on burning the Irish flag and holding a hate-mongering rally denying your right to live.
Nobody likes to see their country’s flag burn, after all. Or told that they don’t have the right to life.
Now put on your psych-ops / misinformation thinking hat. Or at least get creative.
Create a hashtag. Get on Google Images to find a (pixeallated) version of the country’s emblem to make it look as if the government endorsed the hate parade.
Just tread carefully.
Assuming that you’re trying to create a fake poster that was never actually made in Israel, you should bear in mind that it would probably be written in Hebrew given that .. well, that’s the country’s language.
The problem is that Google Translate tends to throw in a few obvious flaws.
So it’s better to play it safe and draft the fake poster’s text in English with just one line of Hebrew. It’s short enough that you could quickly ask a friend for a translation without being too much of an imposition. There’s less chance you’ll be called out.
Now here’s the good news. We’re almost done!
The above is our case study today. This beauty is doing the rounds on Twitter as we speak.
If I can criticize one aspect of it, it’s that the poster’s creator appeared to be running out of ink. Look at those unbecoming streaks on the emblem of the State of Israel. So make sure to stock up on ink before you try to make something look halfway convincing.
Next we’re going to need a Twitter account. That should take only about three minutes to set up.
We’ll also need to insert ourselves into a hate echo chamber by following accounts that we know are most likely to buy this charade.
The good news is that — when it comes to Israel at least — you won’t have to look very far. Look for undiscerning followers that aren’t going to look too closely at things like obvious logical gaps.
Now you’re good to go!
Pin the fake poster to your dormitory wall.
All you’ll need is a few splotches of sellotape!
If you want to make it look even more convincing, then shoot a video of the fake poster taped to your wall. Because .. if it was videod it has to be real, right?
Take a photo. Upload to Twitter. And share.
You’ve just created viral fake news on social media!
Original tweet URL: