There are so many bullshit stories being passed off as real on the Internet that we could fill 25 entire articles with examples -- in fact, we just did. Ten months after we began our crusade for truth, it appears that at least one other website has taken to sifting out the turds of the Web ... albeit using our exact same title model while doing it. We don't mind. After all, gospel is meant to be shared.
With that in mind, it looks like we have roughly another 2,100 more months of this until the entire Internet is a utopia of accountability, so let's get moving!
#6. That "Man Fights Shark" GoPro Video Is So Fake
Sharks are nature's reminder that while mankind may have spawned from the ocean, that's pretty much the extent of the courtesy, lest we are torn limb from limb by giant mouth bullets. Similarly, these swimming sarlacc pits are as good a reason as any not to go anywhere near Australia, as highlighted by a recent viral video reported by Mashable, Huffington Post, Epoch Times, MSN, NY Post, and Time:
Twenty four million people have soiled their pants watching that video on YouTube, so there's a good chance you've either seen it or had it described to you in extreme detail by that guy at the office. It starts with a GoPro-wearing Australian jumping into the water, only to hear his friend with the extremely good eyesight shouting "Shark!"
"Also, there's a whale over there, near Japan!"
Our protagonist does what everyone would do in this situation: Yes, he swims straight in the direction his friend pointed at and then stands still in order to get a good shot of the passing shark. But the real harrowing moment comes at the revelation that the shark is also able to teleport in the water like a slightly more razor-toothed Nightcrawler:
You can tell it's a fake because there isn't a hint of yellow in the water.
Those two shots are a few frames apart, yet the shark magically changes position. Maybe it's just an awkward cut that we're not understanding ... but how about the part where the shark is so consistently terrorizing that it actually attacked two different swimmers in the exact same manner, both of whom uploaded different videos of it on the same day?
The second video was meant to be a parody of the first, but it illustrates how easy it is to fake this stuff. So either these videos were a hoax, or Syfy just found the real-life inspiration for an upcoming Teleportashark movie no doubt being cast with Z-list actors as we speak.
#5. Steve Martin Isn't Doing a Gay-Themed Father of the Bride 3
Movie rumor sites are the faith healing of entertainment news: Either they're right and everyone praises them, or they completely fuck the dog and everyone just shrugs it off as a consequence of the trade. For example, take this shining moment from a few weeks ago:
Steve Martin being a grouch during a gay military wedding? Delightful and topical! According to Vulture, Slash Film, MSNBC, Huffington Post, the Guardian, and any and all movie news blogs, the threequel, directed by the originals' Charles Shyer, would follow Martin's character as he struggles with his now grown-up and gay son marrying the son of a Navy SEAL. We're guessing that Martin is already warming up his "what the hell is going on" face for a re-creation of the original poster, only with a dude kissing him on each cheek this time. Right?
Wait, he isn't. As you probably guessed by now, this came not from a studio announcement, but rather an anonymous source on a film blog -- the same inexplicably popular blog that two days later announced Chronicle's Max Landis as the writer of Ghostbusters 3, only to be foiled by Twitter once again.
To be fair, if we had to point fingers, it wouldn't be at the misinformation so much as the ridiculous studio sequels actually coming out that make these stories so sadly believable.
#4. A Naked Sunbather Did Not Cause a Traffic Pileup
There are three types of story no newsroom can resist: the ones about senseless destruction, the ones about foreigners being wacky, and the ones about public nudity. Smash these things together and it's easy to see how this little baby caught fire so damn fast:
It took an impressive amount of restraint not to name this "BUTT FLASHING LEADS TO REAR ENDING."
It turns out Arnold in Terminator isn't the only Austrian who likes showing pedestrians his privates: The account in question came accompanied by a photograph of the unknown female sunbather, who supposedly left the scene after causing a driver to be distracted enough to start a chain reaction of fender benders. Her perfect crime lit up the front pages of International Business Times, Daily Mail, Yahoo, Jezebel, and the Mirror.
Only here's the thing: We did this really amazing trick called "Google image search" and found that the above photo -- the photo that every story about this has passed along -- existed as far back as 2011. It took us 40 seconds to figure this out ... something that HuffPost also managed to do after their own commenters pointed out that the original photograph was used in an old Reddit post. Not only that, but the window lady is apparently from Estonia, not Austria:
Pictured: a more thorough investigation than the one International Business Times did.
So this is what this world has come to: Reddit and comment sections are now objectively more reliable for facts than actual news articles.