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article imageCan you believe what you see on YouTube?

By Alexander Baron     Sep 17, 2013 in Entertainment
Eyesight is our most fundamental, our most precious sense, and our major interface with the world. Sometimes though it deceives us. Other times, people do.
The word twerk may be a relatively new addition to the English language, but dance moves of all kinds have been around long before any of us. People have also been known to fall flat on their faces when attempting difficult or unfamiliar dance moves, but few of them end up catching fire like this poor girl. Twelve and a half million page views in a fortnight ain't bad, even for YouTube. This suggests that we like to laugh at other people's misfortunes. The fire is real enough, but the video was staged. Difficult to believe but true nevertheless.
Fake films have been around almost as long as the real thing, ditto photographs. The latter can be very simple because a photograph captures a mere moment in time. One of the classic fakes that still has its true believers today is the now infamous Surgeon's Photograph from Loch Ness, but the mythical water kelpie has also been caught on film. Some of these films may be hoaxes but most are probably innocent mistakes.
The infamous surgeon s photograph of the Loch Ness Monster  one of countless hoaxes that have fooled...
The infamous surgeon's photograph of the Loch Ness Monster, one of countless hoaxes that have fooled the world.
Creative Commons
Video sites, especially YouTube, have allowed ordinary folk with no special knowledge of the craft to create elaborate and at times convincing hoaxes. The above twerking video may have been produced professionally, but this one - which appears to be genuine - was not.
That most terrible of crimes, the attacks on the Twin Towers, has been the result of much mythologising and exploitation. It may sound inconceivable that some people believe no planes hit the buildings that day, but it is true. Others simply pretend it was not planes but something else, like this character with his ball theory, or perhaps that should be plural.
If the attack on and collapse of the Twin Towers has been the cause of much inane speculation, the collapse of Building 7 hours later has been called the smoking gun that proves the attacks were false flags - that and several other things. The reason for this is that the building is said to have collapsed at freefall or near freefall speed.
This argument can be compelling for people who have neither the time nor the inclination to do proper research, or any research at all in many cases, but it is clear to anyone who does that there was and is absolutely no mystery about the collapse of this building. Both firefighters on the ground and the media were warning for a good two hours that it was in danger of collapsing; even if it hadn't collapsed, it would have to have been demolished because it had suffered such catastrophic damage.
The collapse of Building 7 certainly looks like a controlled demolition, but this is because what looks like the building collapsing is no such thing, rather it is the shell coming down.
Here is a short explanatory video by Edward Current. Mr Current styles himself a comedian, and here is his in less serious mode explaining his own fake video of Building 7 collapsing, complete with flying saucer!
A screengrab from a video of Building 7 shot on September 11  2001. Note the penthouse beginning to ...
A screengrab from a video of Building 7 shot on September 11, 2001. Note the penthouse beginning to collapse. This alone refutes the claim that this building was brought down by a controlled demolition. In a controlled demolition, a building collapses from the bottom; although Building 7 appears to do that, the interior had already collapsed. What the unenlightened viewer may think is an entire building collapsing is only a shell.
Here is an entirely different but realistic looking fake video of an eagle attempting to snatch a young boy in the park. This video on a broadly similar theme appears to be genuine. This guy had a rodent problem, but instead of killing the mice in his house he decided to trap them humanely and release them into the wild. This one didn't last long!
So how do you know what is real and what is not? Sadly there is often no way of telling. When we watch a documentary or news programme on regular TV we expect what we see to be real, but often it has been staged.
Typically a roving reporter will knock on a door which will be opened by someone who will invite the reporter in, and, surprise, surprise, the camera switches immediately to a rear shot. In other words, the film crew were already in the house.
Okay, no harm done, most people will realise the truth, but is this sort of thing necessary? And if a TV crew will fake something as obvious as that simply for effect, what else might they be faking for possibly not so innocent reasons?
More about twerking fire video hoax, Loch ness monster, surgeon's photograph, Building 7, edward current
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