Impacts from the edge of emerging technologies: BBC on Russian disinformation
Every day we see new impacts of these emerging technologies.
See this piece from 9 September 2018 by Joel Gunter and Olga Robinson on BBC News, “Sergei Skripal and the Russian disinformation game”:
The BBC article illustrates how doubt about the reliability of audio-visual information can cut both ways. While it can inoculate citizens and consumers against susceptibility to disinformation, it can also lead to unnecessary doubt in potentially legitimate communications.
The images have been produced to support written and verbal allegations by Government figures. That is because, in the past, camera images might have been taken to be more reliable than a bare allegation, eye-witness testimony, or other forms of communication. They also create records that can be reviewed in retrospect, “just in case”, as they appear to have been used here.
As Gunter and Robinson point out:
Technologies such as Adobe Photoshop have been with us for a long time and we still rely on images as evidence of the truth of their contents, so perhaps the situation can’t be all that bad.
As for whether these particular CCTV images are reliable in the way that they have been presented, that is now a topic of debate.