Why you should expect altered images of politicians to keep going viral in 2020

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Published on 14 Jan 2020, 13:04
Sharing altered images as political strategy is nothing new. Campaigns have used TV ads, posters and mailers to show their opponents in unflattering ways. The goal is to evoke an emotional response in voters, sway public opinion through imagery. Today, these tactics are playing out on the Internet, where misinformation is cheaper and faster to create - not to mention easier to circulate.

As the 2020 presidential election approaches, political leaders are increasingly sharing doctored images and video to target their enemies. These might take form in memes, photoshopped images, edited video, enhanced photos or simply the wrong caption to accompany a video or photo to promote a misleading narrative.

Researchers have also seen an increase in misinformation online. This is in part because the Internet is a much larger part of our lives – as we receive more information online, we also see more disinformation. However, researchers have also pointed to President Trump’s willingness to share doctored images.

Here’s what you need to know about how and why these posts go viral and the examples that have been some of the most pivotal in our political discourse so far. Read more: wapo.st/2tUYYhs. Subscribe to The Washington Post on YouTube: wapo.st/2QOdcqK

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