Streamers pass off video game footage as live Ukraine invasion coverage

Source: Arma 3

As reported by Bloomberg, Facebook Gaming was awash with misleading stream titles on Thursday, with streamers claiming to depict the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, but actually showing footage from the war simulator game Arma 3.


According to Bloomberg, the videos have since been deleted by Facebook after they approached them with the information. However, Bloomberg reported that the videos in question were viewed by over 110k people and shared more than 25k times before Facebook took it down. 


The issue of fake videos on social media about Ukraine actually began before the Russian military even took action this week. On Feb. 17th, Reuters reported that a 36-minute video tagged "Russia attack on Ukraine" picked up steam, with a breaking news banner being superimposed on top of Arma 3 footage. That video received 15,000 views before being debunked.


Other platforms like Twitter saw similar misinformation coming to light on Thursday, as people flocked to online platforms to follow the start of the conflict in Eastern Europe. At least one video of Arma 3 picked up traction claiming to depict Ukraine firing anti-aircraft weapons to intercept Russian aircraft. That video has over 880k views as of writing this article.



As video game graphics and war simulator games have become increasingly realistic, the risk of footage from those games being used to spread misinformation has increased. The latest crisis is a testament to the importance of verifying all the information that you see. As more and more streamers are live reacting to world events, it is important that viewers properly validate the claims being made by streamers on Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook before sharing them as truth.

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