Saturday, December 10, 2016

Add fake videos to the list of fake things online

It’s been said for years that you can’t always trust what you read and see on the internet. What had been limited to Wikipedia vandalism and prank viral emails has spread across the web. Now we’re getting fake news presented as authentic on social media platforms.
While attention has been focused lately on fake news, let’s not ignore the problem of fabricated videos presented as fact on YouTube and elsewhere.
Some fake videos were done as experiments into what makes something go viral online. That includes Jimmy Kimmel’s video of a woman falling on a glass table and catching fire while twerking.
It also includes an Australian company that uploaded videos of hunters getting attacked by a lion and a snowboarder being chased by a bear.
But fake videos are everywhere on YouTube. They include makers of so-called “social experiments” like Joey Salads, who was busted for a fake video of black men vandalizing a car with Donald Trump campaign stickers. (See article by Mediaite.)
Fake videos online are proliferating because they generate views, which leads to advertising revenue. This has led to staged social experiments and other faked videos. (See articles by Mic and the Daily Dot.)
Other offenders include YouTube videos that mislead viewers about their content for clicks.
YouTube and similar platforms need to do a better job of policing these videos and make sure they are properly labeled as spoofs, satire or fictionalization. Otherwise the situation will get out of hand.

Photo: Screenshot of the Joey Salads prank video about the Donald Trump car.

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