Because I’ve seen people Doing This Wrong a few times recently, here’s the quick 101 on how to fake an internet screenshot. No graphics editing software or font matching required. Every single webpage is susceptible to this “attack” and it’s basically impossible for people encountering the faked screenshots to tell they’re fake (without comparing a URL to the original).
Ready to learn? Awesome. Let’s go.
You will need
- Any browser with an “inspect content” or “developer tools” function. I’ve tried this in both Edge and Chrome, but others probably work, too.
- The ability to take screenshots.
- … that’s it.
Step 1: Go to your “target page”. Here, we’re going to be editing one of my own Tweets (because Tweets are the most-often faked things I see), but this could be literally anything.
Step 2: Open your browser’s developer tools interface. In Chrome, this is Ctrl+Shift+I (or right-click on the text you want to edit and select Inspect from the menu). In Edge, the shortcut is F12.
Step 3: Find the text your want to edit in the Inspector/developer tools/whatever interface, and double-click on it to make it “editable”.
Step 4: Literally just type in whatever the hell you want, then press Enter. Your changes should now reflect in the browser window.
Step 5: Take your screenshot. Like I said, you can make basically any website say basically anything this way.
As you may have worked out if you’re very familiar with the Steam Store homepage, you can use inline editing to change other aspects of webpages as well, not just text. In the screenshot above, I used
display:none; on the carousel to hide it so I could get both the header banner and the “100% off!” tiles in the same shot.
Or, you can replace images, to do things like this:
It’s really that easy. And because you’re editing the webpages in your browser, the faked version use all the same fonts and same layout elements as the originals, making them difficult for Pixel Sleuths and Typography Inspectors to detect.
So now you know how to easily fake screenshots on the web. Go you. Of course, it also means you know how easy it to fake screenshots on the web, which means y’all will now know to be super-leery of screenshots as sole “receipts”. Especially on Twitter. I don’t know what it is about Tweets that make people love faking them, but, whatever. Be skeptical, is what I’m saying, and remember: only use your new power for good.