For my week 4 media assignment in INTE5340, I created fake news using Mozilla’s X-Ray Goggles add-on extension. The X-Ray Goggles extension allows one to take any website and change or remix any content on it. This is relevant currently, as the topic of “fake news” has been on the forefront recently. It’s also relevant for this class, as we are studying remix culture this week. I was curious about other ways this tool could be used besides changing news headlines, so I decided to do a bit of research. Educators often use this tool to teach students about website coding. It’s also heavily used by educators to teach students about remix culture.
For this “Hack the News” project, I went to The Oregonian’s website, Oregonlive.com, and sized up the news headlines. Immediately I saw a few that could be changed. As a huge fan of the satire website, The Onion, I felt like doing something along the vein of the style they use. I changed several headlines, but left a couple as they originally were.
Along with the “fake news” news page, I also saved a screenshot from the original Oregonian headlines before I had edited them, so one can compare them.
I am at a family gathering and showed this to a couple of members of my family, who were really shocked by this tool. Clearly, it’s one that could be dangerous in the wrong hands and used in negative ways.
Although X-Ray Goggles allows you to easily save your creation, the Oregonian’s website scrolls down really far and I didn’t want to save all of that, which I had not edited. I opted to try out SnagIt’s scrolling screen capture feature, which I had never used before. To edit out the content that I did not alter, I put the saved captured image into Adobe Photoshop, and used the “Crop” feature, which was another thing I had never used before. This assignment was beneficial to me from a tool standpoint, as it allowed me to use an extension, which I do not have much experience with, and the two different program’s previously unused features.
Completing this assignment was fun and I had valuable experiencing figuring out how to capture the screen and crop the image due to the Oregonian’s massively long scrolling website. I was also able to share the information about this Mozilla extension with a couple of educators in my family, who want to incorporate it into their own curriculum.