You know the drill: A friend or 57 share a video, adding "Cutest thing ever!!!" or "Whoa" or "This ---->" "This?" you wonder. "Sounds promising!" You click. You watch. You coo or gasp, and you forward it along to another friend or 57. But then you ask, "Isn't it all a little too cute? Or a little too 'Whoa'?" Rarely are things ever that "This ---->." Face it. Your whoa-worthy video is a fake, carefully planned and executed to make you share it. You've been used.
This pattern is the reason why we cannot, as a SOCIETY and a CULTURE, fully relax and enjoy this popular video of a man coming out of surgery and seeing his wife "for the first time."
Jimmy Kimmel's Twerk of Death
Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel really drove home the fact that you just can't trust any video of a girl bursting into flames while attempting to twerk against a door. We gave the internet our trust, Jimmy, and you tore that sacred bond asunder. You monster.
Lonelygirl15 Proves The Internet Hates You
Lonelygirl15 is the quintessential viral video hoax. What started out as a cute girl gaining a cult following thanks to her sweet, quirky video diary quickly turned into a cute girl gaining the attention of an actual cult. Or an actual cult in a fictional world, at any rate. Even though some fans were suspicious of lonelygirl1's authenticity earlier on, her videos were finally revealed to be part of a scripted web series in September 2006.
About a year ago, the internet fell face-over-Uggs over a video of a small pig saving a baby goat (or KID, if you insist) from drowning. "That'll do pig," ready many, many a clever Tweet/Facebook update/email subject line. Our faith in delicious animals was restored, and all was well. But, alas, the heart-warming video of inter-species rescue turned out to be a fake created by Comedy Central's "Nathan For You" in order to create a "hero animal" for a petting zoo. In real life, baby animals drown every time.
Eagles Don't Care About Your Baby
Everyone and their Aunt Yoyi in Florida went insane over this video of an eagle going on a casual baby-snatching jaunt in a park. As it turns out, the whole thing was created by some pretty talented students studying 3D Animation and Digital Design at Montreal's Centre NAD. They created both the baby and the eagle using 3D animation and added it to footage taken at a park. And here you can't even tell the difference between a fake eagle and the real one flying right behind you.
Balloon Boy, Deflated
I'm not even going to write a funny blurb about this story because I hate it so much, but you can read about it here and, more importantly, you can read about Balloon Boy's metal band (yes) right over here.
The whole Kony... situation... is not a hoax, but it does show how gullible -- and how uninformed -- people on the internet can be, even as the internet allows them unprecedented access to information from across the globe. AND SO ON THE LIST IT GOES.
The campaign launched with a short film, KONY 2012, by Invisible Children, Inc, a group that seeks to build awareness of and bring an end to the atrocities committed by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and its leader, Joseph Kony, in Central Africa. The film spread like wildfire over social media, exactly as it was intended to, but it drew criticism for encouraging "slacktivism" as opposed to real, impactful, meaningful social action. In addition, there were those who became caught up in the KONY 2012 hype without actually 1) watching the film, and 2) realizing who Joseph Kony is. This resulted, as it usually does, in some truly amazing memes, image macros, and in-jokes about the ignorance being displayed by KONY 2012 "supporters," the most telling of which is probably the Carl Weathers trolling meme, which used an image of actor and stew enthusiast Carl Weathers from the film Predator to test whether people were actually paying any attention to what Joseph Kony looked like as they went about "helping" a campaign aimed at making him the most famous face on the planet.