NewsNews Literacy Project


News Literacy Week: Manipulated Content

Posted at 8:23 PM, Jan 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-26 21:23:23-05

KATC and our parent company, The E.W. Scripps Company, have partnered with the News Literacy Project, a nonpartisan education nonprofit to help the next generation of news consumers discern credible information from misinformation in today’s media.

News literacy teaches that all information is not created equal. Our objective is to raise awareness that news literacy is a fundamental life skill that helps create a healthy democracy, and to provide students, educators and the general public with the tools to determine what information they should trust, share and act on.

Thousands of manipulated images plague social media platforms. Our partners at Newsy fact-checked some posts to help you understand what to watch out for to identify false content.

It may seem clear to you that some images have been doctored. But on the internet, not everyone will see it that way. After the 2016 election, Facebook created a program to fact-check posts. They started paying organizations like Reuters and Politifact to flag content like this.

Newsy looked through thousands of flagged posts and saw all sorts of misinformation. Much of it was manipulated content -- something that started off real but was later changed in some way to convey incorrect information. Some of those were doctored photos that were presented as real. For example, fake photos of people hanging out with convicted sex offenders Jeffery Epstein and Harvey Weinstein, or altered documents.

But many more were photos that weren't doctored, but they weren't what the poster claimed. Like a photo -- Dr. Anthony Fauci and Obama supposedly visiting "the Wuhan lab" in 2015 with Melinda Gates. The photo is "real" -- it comes from the NIH. But that's not Wuhan, it's Maryland. And that's not even Melinda Gates. We saw a lot of examples like this.

According to the News Literacy Project, consumers should keep an eye on where a piece of information is coming from. Is it a reputable outlet? Are other news organizations reporting similar information? Where did an image or video first appear? Misinformation often plays upon emotional responses. So if a questionable bit of information makes you feel outraged, it may be manipulated content trying to manipulate you.

This story is part of KATC's News Literacy Project. Learn more at and find our previous two stories below:

News Literacy Week starts today

KATC participates in second annual News Literacy Week

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