Arma 3, a military tactical shooter video game developed by Bohemia Interactive, has been frequently used in fake videos about the Russian offensive in Ukraine, with the footage often marked as "live" or "breaking news" to make it appear genuine.
- The frequency with which gaming footage is mistaken for real news and shared on social media highlights the serious potential for the spread of misinformation.
The Spread of Arma 3 Misinformation
- The ease with which the footage can be accessed on platforms such as YouTube is believed to contribute to its misuse. In the past, Arma 3 footage has also been used in false depictions of other conflicts, including in Syria, Afghanistan, and Palestine.
- Recently, the use of Arma 3 footage in fake news has gained traction in regard to the conflict in Ukraine, which has been dubbed the "first TikTok war" due to the steady stream of visuals, both true and false, being shared on social media platforms.
- Researchers believe that the Arma 3 misinformation is likely the work of trolls rather than state actors, with the fake videos being shared by social media users seeking engagement bait ' eye-catching posts that generate more interaction through likes, shares, and comments. Mainstream media and government institutions worldwide have also shared the false videos.
- The use of Arma 3 footage in fake news highlights the need for increased media literacy and the importance of verifying imagery, including looking at metadata. It also highlights the need for platform providers to take action in combating the spread of misinformation.
- A representative from Bohemia Interactive stated that the company has been trying to fight against such content by flagging the videos to platform providers, but the process has been ineffective, with ten more videos being uploaded each day for every one that is taken down.
Risk of Misinformation Increasing
- As video game visuals become more sophisticated, the risk of gaming footage being mistaken for real news and used to spread misinformation will likely increase.
It is important for individuals to be aware of this risk and to take steps to verify the authenticity of any footage or news they come across, particularly when it is shared on social media.