7 Viral Videos You Didn't Know Were Staged (and How They Did It)

#4. How I Got My Camera

The stereotypical violent redneck makes another appearance (apparently a common villain in staged web video lore). Here we have a pair of them, filming themselves harassing an innocent gentleman in a BMW. The filthy, backward good ol' boys finally corner the man (who is the picture of the young, successful evolved male). But they get a big surprise ...

Aha! The victim has stepped out of the BMW with a handgun! The hunted has become the hunter! And stolen the camera to boot! A couple of million views and about 2,000 comments later, a new internet hero was born.

Sample comments:

"lmfao. stupid redneck hick ass fagets i would have put one in there fuckin knee caps. i fuckin hate redneck fagets. some tried to pull some shit at the bar once and they got there ass's beat down. and if yall didnt notice those hick fags were drivin a toyota, ha"

"Another reason guns should be legal everywhere. Good job, gun toting fella!"

"haha. fuk a gun....i woulda beat there ass2vs 1 even if they had there bat...stupid hicks."

The Evidence:
There's all sorts of circumstantial evidence here, none of which is damning on its own. Sure, there could exist some perfect redneck stereotypes like that, right down to the suspenders. There could be some guys whose speech patterns come off like awkward dialogue. And after all, aren't there some days when things work out just right for the good guys?

Well, the quickest way to detect bullshit in these videos is to pay attention to the behavior of the camera operator. In this case, at the sight of the handgun the cameraman's instinct is to ... zoom in on the gun, get it in frame and then focus so we can see it more clearly?

No, not unless this guy got trained as a combat photographer in Desert Storm, he'd be more likely to lower the camera chest level as the realization dawns that this purty city slicker has done got him a shootin' iron. "Billy Bob, we done 'bout to face the unfathomable void of death! Whoooowee!"

So, with that in mind, we turned the project over to the 30-man Cracked.com video analysis team, who spent six months processing every pixel of the original upload. After enhancing the image to a level of clarity more than 6,000 times that of the original, they reported that there was a prominent watermark for a site called wittkopp.net in the upper right.

When you type that address into your browser, you get nothing but a page of text saying the video was staged, with the "... so stop asking us about it, dipshits" left unsaid. We didn't try to contact them for further details, because what matters is that these rednecks and this yuppie couple were able to collaborate on something peacefully and we think that should be a lesson to us all.

With the disclaimer right there for the world to see, you have to wonder how in the hell this became a viral sensation in the first place. That would be because the helpful submitter who put the video up on Break.com decided to blot out the watermark so viewers couldn't trace it back.

Once more we witness the process by which information is carefully degraded before it's suitable for release onto the internet at large. It's like the opposite of a newsroom's fact-checking department. Unless you're talking about the Fox News newsroom in which case it's exactly the same.

#3. Crazy Teacher Kicks Entire Classroom's Ass

A crazy foreign teacher takes one spitball too many and flips out, beating the shit out of a room full of students:

Chalk up almost two million views and several hundred comments to the Jet Li of the French educational system. We actually included this video in our rundown of the scariest teachers on YouTube a few months ago. The cries of "Fake!" in our very own comments section caused us to take a second look, to see if there had been a failure in our wacky video vetting process and if any staff needed to be let go as a result.

Sample comments:

"I don't care what one student did, this guy's anger was unjustified."

"I wonder why you misinformed people keep saying it is a fake. The sad story is, things like this aren't that uncommon outside the United States, you should open up your provincial minds and learn that United States =/= The Rest of the World."

"its not fake it was on the news the guy he beat up in the corner died"

"that shit is legal in france"

The Evidence:
No matter where you find this video, you find people bitterly divided over its authenticity (even among our staff, in fact). The fact that it's French has made it impossible to track down its origins or to judge things like whether or not a teacher would be wearing those striped track pants on the job.

Who knows, right? He's French. A translation of the voices also offers no help, since there is a great deal of, "Sir! Sir! Stop!" and very little, "Let us continue to stage this video, Pierre!"

Doubters like to point to the ludicrous Jean Claude Van Damme roundhouse kick 17 seconds in, which misses the student's face by two feet yet sends the victim flying backward.

"Not so," say the faithful. "Would one not fling himself back out of the way of even a missed kick? Would not one even fall back over a chair in one's startlement?"

Perhaps the first blow is more telling, where instead of simply flinching and throwing up his hands to protect his face, the victim seems to pre-emptively launch his body to the right.

In fact, the only real, sustained beating takes place where all the blows are hidden in the corner, behind a desk.

And of course we have the behavior of the camera person, who keeps shooting right up to the moment when the teacher presumably unleashes a karate chop that embeds the camera/phone in the student's eye socket. Note that in his fury the teacher neither broke nor confiscated the phone.

But the real nail in the coffin for this one is the fact that there is just no mention of this event anywhere outside of this video. If you read French leet-speak, you know that none of the French commenters on the video had heard of the incident.

Plus, no combination of the French words for "crazy teacher" or "teacher attacks classroom" or "Van Damme Roundhouse Kick" yields any mention of this particular incident in the French news media, even though classroom violence is a big issue there and many lesser incidents involving abusive teachers have gotten coverage. Are we to believe that an incident where four children were beaten, with full Jean Claud Van Damme roundhouse kick video, would go utterly unnoticed? Hardly.

So what's the alternative? Is it a clip from a French sketch comedy show? Or maybe an edited commercial, like the turd softener up there? It's hard to say. The earliest version of the clip we can find is this one uploaded to the French YouTube page. The guy who uploaded it has long abandoned the account, and his only other video is this one of he and his friend riding bicycles.

Wait a second ... look at the pants on his friend.


#2. Leeroy Jeeeenkins!!!

For the gaming crowd, this is simply the mother of all viral videos. The game is World of Warcraft, but you don't have to be familiar with the game to appreciate Leeroy's foolhardy retardocity:

The YouTube copy up there has generated four million views and 10,000 comments, and that's not even the original (this one was uploaded a year after the video became a hit). All told, more people have probably seen this video than have actually played World of Warcraft. It came up in a question on Jeopardy. It was alluded to in that Toyota WoW commercial.

Sample comments:

"Lol, I play WoW and tbh, that's taking the game way to seriously. Bunch of nerds tbh."

"Funny as hell because its NOT fake, he finally got kicked out of their guild >_<"

Ummm... I seriously don't see whats so funny. No group of 60's would ever do something like that, even if the player was an idiot. This is uncreative, boring, and not humorous in any way to me

"WOW what a dirt nig"

The Evidence:
This is an easy one. The one group who is never fooled by this clip is the long-time World of Warcraft veterans, who know the gamer jargon featured early in the video ("Coming up with thirty-two point three three uh, repeating of course, percentage, of survival...") is just random nonsense, obviously meant to build up the illusion that they had carefully planned the event so it's funnier when Leeroy fucks it up.

In fact, when they first released the video on the WoW forums they acknowledged it was staged and only changed the story later when the video took on a life of its own. Fame can do that to a person (here's the actual "Leeroy Jenkins" being interviewed, and still playing it up as real). Again we see the internet's reverse-filter in action, letting the myth continue to thrive while the truth is shunted aside as being too uninteresting to remember.

But, it's just a silly gaming video, it's not like anybody's being harmed. The same cannot be said, however, for our number one...

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