Hey everyone! Andrew here. Welcome to the Monday edition of Internet Insider.
I hope you had a good weekend. I spent my time relaxing after a busy first week as the newsletter editor.
We’re kicking off this week with ‘One Dumb Conspiracy’ from Mikael Thalen, our politics and tech reporter, who spotted a video claiming to show a Russian soldier invading Ukraine that is fooling millions of people.
Let’s dive right into the news.
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BREAK THE INTERNET
- Hacked: The hacks just keep coming for GiveSendGo, the Christian crowdfunding site used to solicit donations for the Freedom Convoy. Now, released data reveals all the names and donation amounts provided to the Freedom Convoy campaign as of Feb. 23. GiveSendGo has had several recent leaks.
- QAnon: If you want to read more about conspiracy theories, we recently published a deep dive on how the “antifa apocalypse” claims of 2017 set the stage for the QAnon conspiracy theory to gain steam. Check it out here.
- Surveillance: Everyone knows you’re unfortunately being surveilled nearly everywhere you go, but a recent viral video has a Walmart store under fire for claiming that it was using an unusual tool to track people: a Xbox Kinect motion-sensor device.
ONE DUMB CONSPIRACY
A viral video of a soldier allegedly ‘invading’ Ukraine is fooling millions
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has created a digital fog of war, leading to the spread of countless misattributed videos and pictures online.
As is often the case amid any large historical event, media totally unrelated to the ongoing conflict has been promoted as both current and contextual.
One such video on TikTok, purporting to show a Russian soldier parachuting into Ukraine, has been viewed a staggering 25 million times before it was deleted.
Although some legitimate accounts are uploading footage amid the conflict, many are repurposing old content in order to go viral.
Countless users commenting on the popular TikTok video, which shows a soldier filming himself in the air, all appeared to believe the post showed the Russian invasion.
“Bro is filming an invasion,” a comment with 131,000 likes read.
Others were convinced that they had “stumbled across Russian war tactics.”
“Bro we are actually going to just watch the war on TikTok,” another added.
The video, which appears to have been deleted by the original poster, made its way onto Twitter as well, where many joked about TikTok once being known as a dancing app.
Yet the user who posted the original TikTok video, @romanadler123, actually posted the video to Instagram under the same username in 2015.
The Instagram version of the video currently has just 45 likes in total as of the time of writing.
While social media is undoubtedly being inundated with old footage portrayed as new, actual wartime footage has been making the rounds as well. In fact, Russia recently began printing propaganda posters warning soldiers not to upload footage to TikTok.
As NBC News noted last week, some TikTok users in the United Kingdom even began livestreaming videos of their roofs with fake siren sounds in the background in order to solicit donations from users.
The TikTok video is just one of countless online that are being falsely attributed to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Even footage from war fighting video games is being used to fool people online.
The incidents all highlight the importance of verifying the legitimacy of such content prior to sharing.
Nigerian soccer idol Maduka Okoye is poised to anchor his team for a generation—to the chagrin of his online detractors. Online, Okoye defends more than just the net. The light-skinned goalkeeper faces damaging stereotypes that follow him on social media platforms like Twitter and TikTok.
MORE KEY STORIES
- ‘I don’t know any hobo that wears $200 plus sneakers.’: Manager criticizes Black office worker over dress code
In a TikTok video, Shanell Gordon (@nelly2timess) showed a white manager apparently berating a Black worker over his work attire.
A TikTok posted on Wednesday revealed a possible spoiler about Netflix’s “Love Is Blind,” just days ahead of the season finale.
To mark the fourth anniversary of the very first QAnon drop on 4chan, the Daily Dot put together six stories about the conspiracy theory that haven’t been told or looked at. Check out the coverage here.
Enter the Oculus Quest 2 Giveaway now for a chance to win the most advanced, all-in-one VR bundle, plus other prizes worth $550.
BEFORE YOU GO
A TikToker claims her Chipotle account was hacked and her card information was stolen. In a viral TikTok video, she urges others to unlink their cards from their accounts.
Now Playing: “Defect” by Strangled