That Michael Jackson video was a big hoax
Last week our pals at Stuck in the '80s told us about a video online that purported to show Michael Jackson alive and well, emerging from an ambulance that left the L.A.coroner's office (watch it above). Now German broadcaster RTL has come forward to say the whole thing was a hoax aimed at showing how quickly disinformation can be spread across the Internet. Does it count if we didn't believe it in the first place?
"We wanted to show how easily users can be manipulated on the Internet with hoax videos," spokesman Heike Schultz of Cologne-based RTL told the AP. "Therefore, we created this video of Michael Jackson being alive, even though everybody knows by now that he is dead -- and the response was breathtaking."
The original video was posted on YouTube for one day and got 880,000 hits before being removed. Other sites (including us now) picked it up, and some doofuses out there actually believe it was real. Yeah, and there is a Bigfoot, crop circles are real and Saddam Hussein was behind Sept. 11 -- people believe that stuff, too.
Schultz said they deliberately "tried to create the video in a way that every normal user can see right away that it is a fake." The video was shot near Cologne, and the network admitted the fakery way back on Aug. 26, but things like the truth take a little while longer to get here, apparently.