Local and international publications have lambasted the scourge of fake news in recent weeks.

From celebrity hijackings and deaths, to vote rigging and corruption scandals, fake news and the websites it is published on have been branded a “major issue”.

Africa Check has even published a guide on how to avoid falling for fake news, listing the hallmarks of false reporting.

It’s not only written articles which you need to be on the lookout for, however, as fake images can also trick readers into falling for spurious reporting.

In one of the most recent examples of a fake photo being used to press an agenda, Dutch politician Geert Wilders tweeted a photo of a political rival holding a banner at a pro-Islamist rally.

The photo was found to be based on an image of a rally from 2009 – with Wilders’ rival’s face placed on one of the protestors at the front of the group.
Fake images are easy to make

To show you how easy it is to create a fake image, we took photos of politician Julius Malema and Springbok coach Allister Coetzee and combined them to portray Malema as our country’s national rugby coach.

The editing of the images did not take long and was relatively straightforward.

Always ensure you check the veracity of an article – and its images – by checking its source and referencing credible news sites before sharing it online.