When a picture tells a thousand lies

This was the very first image alot of Twitter users saw when they read a tweet from Team Quadrant content creator Aarav.

Aarav who has 494 thousand subscribers on YouTube has made a living off the official F1 games by Codemasters and in recent years has become a trusted source of information for new releases and upcoming content for the F1 games.

Hardwork, honesty and consistency have been the driving forces behind his success and as he describes it,

there is a lot of hard work involved, but I feel that it’s mixed with just a dash of luck!

However in this writers subjective opinion, finding the truth amongst his videos, posts and opinions is slowly becoming an exercise in separating the hype and marketing from what's really going on.

This is the second image you may have seen and for some it came through an alert that said "Check out the latest screenshots from F1 2021" and for those, including myself, clicking it presented you with the following.

As you can see two Alpine F1 cars that appear to be from the new F1 game for 2021, for those really on alert you may have questioned the question mark used, otherwise for those looking forward to the new release, it's all very exciting but just 15mins later this follow up tweet was posted.

As Aarav confesses, this isn't the F1 2021 game at all but the Alpine car rendered ontop of a screenshot, of a scene captured in F1 2020. While it's seems innocent enough and for fans it may even be easier to dismiss this as some interesting click bait, especially from a content creator who entertains so many.

However it is important to remember that on Twitter atleast, the majority of people who will ever see a tweet, happens in the first 10mins and that effect can be seen in the photo's likes and retweet statistics.

With 73 retweets, 23 quoted tweets and 2184 likes on the first post with the screenshots and 13 retweets, 7 quoted tweets and 349 likes on the post revealing the truth.

Are standards on the slide ?

Aarav did the right thing in this situation but consumers and fans should also be aware that if we allow these small indiscretions to go by unchecked, it opens the door for more elaborate mistruths to begin.

The more we allow something to happen, the more the limits of what the audience will accept, will be tested, because the ability to just get away with it will be something Aarav and other content creators will feel they can do, due to their power and influence on this topic.

What will come of the future is unknown, will Team Quandrant stick around ? Will Aarav still find the F1 games fun and interesting in the next couple years ? and will consumers continue to have access to hard facts and truths about their favourite racing franchises from influencers they trust, or will we see more sensationalised posts, tweets and content flood our social media feeds ?

The reality

While this posts singles out Aarav, it is by no means meant to be a tell all expose but an example of how power and influence can affect the choices made. This is hardly the end of the world and by all metrics, he is operating in such a saturated space, that getting your voice heard can be a challenge, especially if you aren't yelling loud enough.

However that shouldn't come at the expense of trust and integrity and that's where it's our job as fans and viewers to call it out when we see it happening. It is also naive to think we can eliminate click bait, it wont' happen and it's far too successful a strategy that if Aarav stops, someone else will and maybe that person forgets to tell us it was just a digital render in his or her tweet. Let's keep the truth in check and you can keep the sensational thumbnails and title headlines.