There is a new article on LiveScience "Scary: Fake Videos Alter Perception of Reality"
that reports some findings related to faked videos and the responses to them.

This particular article brings up several points which should be considered beyond simply faked videos.  It actually raises the larger question about how perceptions of reality may be altered by seemingly real portrayals even in entertainment.

While there is little doubt that the majority of the public are able to recognize that they are watching a movie, there is also the problem of how much influence such movies may have, especially if they are labeled as "based on a true story".

In addition, persistently watching the same entertainment lends an aura of credibility to circumstances that may be completely unwarranted, even if the reality is known to the viewer.  Specifically, many events are judged as to whether they appear plausible and may well become accepted as truth, or at least reasonable approximations of the truth.

I wonder how many people watched Jurassic Park and concluded that the dinosaur behavior was probably reasonable?  How many people may regularly watch "Law and Order" and conclude that they understand the functioning of the legal system?  More specifically, how many people watched "A Beautiful Mind" and concluded that it was an accurate portrayal of Nash's life, or William Wallace's life in "Braveheart", or the stories told in "Hidalgo" and "The Emerald Forest"?

In each of these cases, the line between reality and artistic license becomes more and more blurred and the ability to distinguish between the truthful elements versus those that are completely concocted becomes almost impossible to discern without investigation.

In the absence of such investigation, it makes one wonder how much information is being conveyed that simply isn't true and has never been true.

Since humans are a visual species, it seems natural to suggest that visual stimulation may well be a source of experiential data that we incorporate in our belief system or worldview.  As a result, such data may be subject to less scrutiny, especially if it is repeatedly viewed, and give rise to the false conclusion that we have witnessed something that is real.  More significantly, some of that data may actually become integrated into our experiential sense to where we actually come to believe that it is the truth.

This is especially problematic when viewing news and documentary stories which may also use artistic license to convey their point of view rather than concentrating on what is actually known.

Without intending to do so, it makes one wonder just how much social beliefs are shaped by those whose intention is simply to entertain.