Sue via flickr Creative Commons /

We’ve all heard the saying “seeing is believing”, but does it ring true in a photoshopped-world? On today’s show we’ll try to find the answer to this question: why are we so easily duped by viral images:

Then, take the Talented Mr. Ripley, add several more aliases, and a dash of gruesome, and you get Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter. Writer Walter Kirn talks about being swindled by a man masquerading as a scion of the Rockefeller family, who was really a cunning imposter and a murderer.

Plus, a look back at one of the greatest hoaxes in American history, the Giant Indian of Cardiff.

Photoshopping Vladimir Putin

Jan 7, 2015

Do a quick search of Vladimir Putin and you'll find a countless array of photoshopped images of the Russian leader riding a bear, a shark, a giraffe, an eagle and, because: puns, a Ritz® cracker.

There are a bevy of tumblr's devoted to photographs of Putin. Some are photoshop and mash-up photos, other are just " normal" photos of Putin, that manage to somehow appear photoshopped.

Uncomfortable Moments with Putin

Viral Images: Duping The Internet Masses

Feb 25, 2014

Niagara Falls, 1911. Completely frozen over with a group of people standing where they would otherwise be sucked into the rushing waterfall. Incredible? Absolutely! Totally truthful? Not exactly.

George Oates, Nathan Fixler & Chris Griffith via Flickr Creative Commons

Today on Word of Mouth, we delve into the consequences of solitary confinement. Then a trip to the Internet reveals that cyberspace is chock full of fakes and fails; Photoshopped images can quickly become viral and shared as authentic. But history is full of giant hoaxes, too, as we learn from Nate Dimeo of the Memory Palace Podcast.  Then we hear about The Encyclopedia of Ethical Failure,  which isn’t one of those Darwin Awards-style coffee table books. It’s a real government document that catalogs bribery, graft, and other infractions in the Department of Defense. Finally, NHPR's Sean Hurley visited the Jackson biathlon range - the only dedicated course in New Hampshire - to find out more about this unusual sport.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

It's not like it hasn't been done before; it has. The problem is, it is so easy now, anyone can do it, and we'd never know because the tools are so subtle. I'm talking about doctored pictures — manipulating images, or what simpler folks call "lying." There used to be a saying on the Web: "Pictures, or it didn't happen." No more.