Fake or Legit

Recognizing how proud Kids These Days are of their digital discernment, of their immunity to audio/visual forgeries, I’ve pulled together a large set of photosMostly from Snopes but let me state for the record I didn’t take any of these photos. Except one., some of which are legitimately bizarre, some of which are artificially bizarre.

You ever have a few minutes free, you fire up the slidedeck and ask them to vote, fake or legit, on each photo. It’s fun. I’ll plug extraneous gaps with three or four photos and it’ll last the semester. Whenever possible, I’ve included unaltered versions of the forgeries.



Digital Tampering in the Media, Politics, and Law

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I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school math teacher and current head of teaching at Desmos. He / him. More here.


  1. Got it – thanks.

    All of the “FAKE” stamps came out looking like “FAK” since, I’m guessing, the substituted font was a little larger than yours.

  2. thanks for sharing all your work, and even more the way you think and how you get from point a to b.

    i just stumbled across your site, from tmao’s i think, and have been alternating between inspired and feeling inadequate.

    i’ve spent years bemoaning the state of powerpoint and what it does to presentations, and serendipitously took the plunge with keynote just this weekend.

  3. Why, oh why, oh why will my little laptop (with Microsoft Office 07) NOT open the PPt file? Is there a small animal I can sacrifice to right this wrong?

    Love the idea, Dan. Obviously there are 2 take-away’s. One, focusing on the technical ‘skill’ of discerning truths/fakes in visual form. Two, what it means to question (re)source in the first place, and ‘make sense’ of a evolving landscape of ‘truth’.

    Both are vital to dem kids and to our collective futures.

  4. Be interesting to plot scores based on something—gender, age, hair color, math grade, ses….

    When ever I get these images as emails labeled “This IS Unbelievable” I cringe. I also cringe when I get the “gang initiation”, “missing teen”, “send this on and you’ll be rich”, “deoderant (or cellphone) causes cancer”, “dying teen” or “Golden Compass is anti-God” emails. It amazes me how gullible people (teachers) are. Yikes.

    OK, the brouhaha over Golden Compass wasn’t a hoax.

  5. I don’t ever surf, but that first picture is similar to my worst nightmare. I’m not going to get to sleep tonight, even if that is a fake.

  6. Dang. Sucks about PowerPoint 2007. Ya know Apple released a patch for that problem, right? Yep. Called it Keynote. I think Santa’s bringing me the latest version this Christmas which oughtta export something compatible for you people. Sit tight ’til then, I guess.

    Todd, not that it’ll do your sharkophobia any good but that there’s a dolphin.

  7. It actually did cross my mind that the fin looked a bit more like a dolphin, but that kind of logical thinking would never cross my mind if I was in the water faced with that murky outline.