‘Fake news’ float scares at Village Halloween Parade

The “Statue of Liberty” was covered up to her neck with the words “Fake News” along with inflammatory headlines and photos. (Photo by Tequila Minsky)

The most frightening display at this year’s Village Halloween parade wasn’t anything with ghouls, goblins or ghosts, but something a little too real — fake news.

A float in this year’s parade created by DoubleVerify, a marketing measurement software and analytics company, featured a replica of the Statue of Liberty covered up to her neck with the words “Fake News” along with inflammatory headlines and photos.

Montreal-based company Float4 built the copy of Lady Liberty whose cubist-like angles help the projected images appear to be swirling around her body.

The images run on a loop and include photos of scowling President Trumps, Kim Kardashians and click-bait puppies, which will eventually fall off the statue to reveal bold red letters reading “No Fake News.”

“Our business is pretty serious in terms of what we do and this is an opportunity to have some fun,” said CEO of DoubleVerify Wayne Gattinella, whose company works with large advertising firms to make sure that their work is placed in legitimate online outlets and in identifying fake news sources. According to Gattinella, DoubleVerify also works to sort through the tone or intent of content in order to help advertisers.

“It’s an important statement” about how the company wants to do its part in saving the internet from unreliable information, Gattinella said. “We want to see [the internet] survive and sustained as a trusted source of information.”

According to NPR and Harvard Summer School, you can spot fake news by doing the following:

  1. Consider the source of the article;
  2. Do some quick research about the website you are reading from and investigate its mission contact info to check what potential biases it might have;
  3. Double check the author;
  4. Do a Google search of the author writing the article you are reading to check if the are credible and in fact, real;
  5. Be skeptical;
  6. A claim made in an article should be supported by facts and the author should explain how they came to their conclusion. Make sure to look for other articles that also support that claim.
  7. Vet the facts by visiting sites like FactCheck.org, Snopes.com or PolitiFact.com

The Village Halloween Parade is from 7 to 11 p.m. and will travel up Sixth Avenue, from Spring Street to 18th Street. Street closures will begin at 6 p.m.