Back to pop culture references, many on Twitter have been making memes that show Zelensky photoshopped into various Marvel characters. Captain America. Some decided that the actor who played Hawkeye in the Marvel movies resembled Jeremy Renner and “cast” the actor in Zelensky’s role in a … I guess … war film? “Fans Cast Jeremy Renner as Zelensky in Fantasy Ukraine Invasion Film: Too Soon?” read the New York Post headline. “Fans…. What….” one person responded.
Sellers on Etsy are also getting in on the action. At the forum, you can buy mugs with Zelensky’s face surrounded by the colors of the Ukrainian flag, a T-shirt with the president’s quote in floral script, another with Zelensky’s face in the famous Barack Obama “Hope” logo, or one that reads “President Zelensky, my hero.” Have we learned nothing from the doomed “cumosexual” meme? No politician needs this level of online passion and thirst around him, and Zelensky has plenty on his plate. “Not sure Twitter can survive a milkshake duck of this magnitude,” one person wrote. In response To worship the leader.
On TikTok, things aren’t much better. As NPR reported over the weekend, the platform has been inundated with videos on the front lines of the conflict that actually show “on-the-ground live footage of old conflicts, scenes from movies and video game battles. “
Media Matters called out TikTok for “facilitating” the spread of misinformation, noting that “videos of missile attacks, explosions and gunfire exchanges are garnering millions of views, even if some contain old footage unrelated to the conflict or manipulated videos with audio. Exploit anxious audiences.”
It complained that one of the app’s key features, the ability to reuse someone else’s audio, was a “major source of digital disinformation” because it allowed people to upload new, false videos using old audio. One of the videos called by Media Matters, which originated in Ukraine and has more than 5 million views, used audio from a 2020 clip of an explosion in Beirut.
“TikTok’s platform architecture amplifies fear and allows misinformation to thrive in times of heightened anxiety,” the watchdog wrote. “While it is very important to inform the public about such high-stakes situations, the design of the platform does not seem to fit the needs of the moment.”