Bohemia Interactive Asks Fans To Stop Making Fake Ukraine War News Using Arma 3
Eight months and tens of thousands of lives later, the war in Ukraine is still raging on. Although Ukraine lost ground in the early months of the war, Russia has found itself losing troops and material in droves as Ukrainian armed forces push the front lines back to pre-February borders.
However, even as far back as March, there have been numerous instances of fake news surrounding the conflict, and many of them involve footage taken from video games. Bohemia Interactive, makers of the military simulation game Arma 3, recently released a video showing how footage from its game can be used to create fake combat footage and how viewers can spot these fake reports.
"While it's flattering that Arma 3 simulates modern war conflicts in such a realistic way, we are certainly not pleased that it can be mistaken for real-life combat footage and used as war propaganda," said Bohemia's PR manager Pavel Křižka. Footage from Arma 3 has been used to depict conflicts in Syria, Palestine, and Afghanistan, but the current conflict in Ukraine has taken the top spot for fake war reports.
Fighting fake news has been a losing battle, according to Křižka. Trying to flag videos on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and other social media sites has proven to be "very ineffective," with ten videos uploaded for "every video taken down."
"We found the best way to tackle this is to actively cooperate with leading media outlets and fact-checkers (such as AFP, Reuters, and others), who have better reach and the capacity to fight the spreading of fake news footage effectively," added Křižka.
The video above gives everyone the tools to spot fake combat footage. Added camera shake makes the footage appear like it's being taken from a cell phone in the field while blurring and lower resolutions not only obscure the true source of the footage but also make it appear like an older phone unable to focus in dim lighting. There are also no actual people in the shot, which even in modern shooters, still don't move the same as real people would in combat situations.
This isn't the first time a game developer has had to issue a warning about its game being used for fake Ukraine war news. Eagle Dynamics, makers of DCS flight simulator, also had to issue a statement early in the war after footage from its game was used to help create the Ghost of Kyiv.
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