A few days ago a bright spark at the BBC mixed up the UN logo with that of the fictional UNSC from the Halo game. The story has been reported mainly as another example of the media not checking their visuals properly (they really need to install the awesome Tineye add-on). Clearly this example was just amusing but when it's shots of warzones which are erroneous or Photoshopped the seriousness of the issue becomes apparent.
I am intrigued by the Ballard-ian aspect of this story. That fictional conflicts of the future can somehow bleed into our reality is very evocative. We live in an age where our knowledge of the world is very complete, but this knowledge is based on the reports and documentation of others. If these reports are realistically faked or tampered we can easily be duped. Perhaps in this era of vast, instantly-downloadable data and immediate minutia of detail Rationalism (which teaches that we must only believe what can be proved by repetition) is being eroded.I am reminded of the opening sections of Asimov's Foundation when one of the protagonists espouses the view that, to be a good archaeologist one simply has to read all the reputable authors and weigh up their opinions.
With the advent of augmented reality technology this issue is only going to become more prevalent as the boundaries between our created universe and the real one become blurred. Perhaps this will lead to the birth of a Realist underground movement, as in Cronenberg's Existenz, who rail against this erosion of the tangible?
Very soon we're all going to have the feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.