For the (conspiracy) theorist, the beauty of images is that they have the power to become simultaneously a source of proof and doubt. Look again, don’t you see that? There it is. Gone.
Who knows what went into an image, what it includes and what it hides? This is not merely a question of fine art historical importance of materials, or even media historical intrigue of chemistry but one of steganography - hiding another meaningful pattern, perhaps a message, in data; inside text or an image.
In early 2016, @RussianEmbassy, the verified Twitter account from the Russian Embassy in the UK, sent an image to the Russian Ministry of Defence via Twitter, warning that ‘Extremists near Aleppo received several truckloads of chemical ammo.' On further inspection, rather than a matter of urgency, it became immediately apparent that these were neither extremist trucks, nor was it in fact an actual photograph of real trucks at all.