An American news channel tried to illustrate the scale of the Russian hacking through a video game. CNN uses Fallout 4 in a story about President Barack Obama’s verdict to oust 35 Russian diplomats.
What was the scene utilized in the TV report and later in an online publication?
CNN uses Fallout 4: Green screen & codes
An image of a green screen packed with a series of inexplicable words and numbers appeared. It came out as the featured photo of the report. Reddit users then realized the source of the controversial picture.
In Fallout 4, players can hack into computer systems to unlock doors and safes. It goes through the same process of actual hacking. In reality, online terrorists achieve their goals by solving word puzzles. The Russian cyber-attack has been a hot debate since the victory of Donald Trump. The CIA and the FBI accused Vladimir Putin of meddling with November’s presidential elections.
Per the Independent, the emails of Hillary Clinton’s team were the top targets. It was later published in Wikileaks in hopes of derailing her campaign.
Why is it okay that CNN uses Fallout 4?
For one thing, technical topics like encryption are hard to translate into imagery. If ever someone manages to illustrate the technology, it is still not eye-catching. In fact, unidentified professional hackers admitted that actual hacking is downright boring.
The unknown source noted that the same reason urges cinemas to use exaggerated images. Broadcast networks like CNN share the same sentiment. Reporters need to find engaging visuals to lure in readers and viewers.
At the end of the day, of course, a lack of good image is not a valid excuse. A lot of people, mostly social media users, blasted CNN. They said that using video game graphics in a serious news story is unacceptable.
CNN uses fallout 4 to illustrate Russia's hacking story pic.twitter.com/3ghUTNalrX
— Andrius Daulys (@andriusdaulys) January 2, 2017
Do you think the Russians really interfered with the US 2016 presidential elections? What are your thoughts on the move of CNN – one of the world’s most premiere media outfits – to utilize Fallout 4 images with a political bias?