CNN uses 'Fallout 4' hacking terminal picture in story on Russian cyberattack


In today's world of fake news, we certainly don't need anyone mistaking video games for real life. Yet it seems to have happened again, and this time CNN is the culprit, sharing what appears to be an image from Fallout 4 as part of a real story on Russian hacking.

Fallout 4 screenshot used in real-life Russian hacking story on CNN

Redditor Poofylicious posted to a Fallout 4 subreddit a still image of what appears to be a computer terminal from Bethesda Softworks' newest Fallout game. The screenshot appeared in a CNN segment about the Russian cyberattacks that reportedly took place during the 2016 presidential election.

The proof of CNN's error was delivered via an image comparison that seems to show a computer screen from Fallout 4 shot at an angle, though the proof is not clear. The main element identified in the comparison is a meter that indicates how many times the player may try to hack a computer terminal in the game before the terminal locks up and can no longer be accessed.

YouTube user Mark Dice has provided video of CNN's purported error.

CNN's Fallout 4 mix-up isn't the first of its kind

It's both hilarious and terrifying when the media reports video game content as anything connected to the real world beyond the games themselves. The Turkish media, for instance, once mistook a sheet of handwritten Grand Theft Auto 4 codes as something to do with logistics for an attempt coup in Turkey. 

A logo from Halo was once confused as a symbol used by the United Nations, and the ITV network once mistakenly used video from the ultra-realistic military simulation game ARMA II in a news story about the Irish Republican Army.