The person who initially shares and falsely represents images knows exactly what they are doing:
A photo shared thousands of times on Twitter and claimed to be from a November 14, 2020 rally in Washington, DC to support President Donald Trump after his election defeat is in fact a two-month old image from a flea market in Pennsylvania.
This blog has, in the past, reviewed a large number of viral “social media propaganda posters” to show where their photos originated from. It is very common to take a photo of some event, often well in the past, and then pretend it is a contemporary photo of an event in the news.
The best posters use both images and simple written messages to convey their message. Their goal is to get you to adopt their agenda – which might be to agree with their political messaging, or in the case of advertising, to purchase their product or service.
The primary purpose of ad-driven media and especially social media, is to engage you emotionally.
How many times are you “triggered” by a post on social media to which you feel compelled to respond? That is the “hook” that social media uses to engage more of your mind share on their platforms. Someone says something you know is not true: do you correct it or ignore it? Or, the echo chamber effect: someone posts something you agree with (true or not true) and you feel compelled to let your “friends” know that you agree with this. Virtue signaling is real 🙂
This is how social media hooks you into wasting more time on their platforms.