Joe Rogan and Steven Seagal. In the lower left corner is the Daily Dot newsletter logo.

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Newsletter: A fake CNN tweet about Steven Seagal is fooling people

In today’s ‘Internet Insider’ newsletter, we also look at Truth Social’s plummeting popularity.

 

Andrew Wyrich

IRL

Hey readers! Andrew here. Welcome to the Monday edition of Internet Insider

Hope you had a great weekend! I went and saw The Batman, and really enjoyed it. If you also saw it, be sure to check out Gavia’s report on an Easter egg that could hint about where the franchise is going in the future

Meanwhile, Mikael has his weekly “One Dumb Conspiracy” column down below. Today, he gives you the run down on how Joe Rogan shared a fake CNN tweet that said Steve Seagal embedded himself among “Russian special forces” in Ukraine.

Yeah, I know there’s a lot going on in that sentence. Let Mikael explain it all out. 

Thanks for reading along. Now let’s jump right into the news. 

—A.W. 

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BREAK THE INTERNET

Spoiler AlertThe Batman is officially out for general audiences, which means all of the analysistheories, and more are about to flood the internet. If you’ve had the chance to see the highly-anticipated move, we dive deep into a big Easter egg that lays the groundwork for a sequel. Check out our coverage here

Truth Social: We’ve touched on the numerous issues that Truth Social, former President Trump’s social media app, has had since launching. But besides the fumbles out of the gate, the app is now losing popularity. The app was Apple’s top free app following its launch in late February, but has since fallen below apps for “Catholic meditation” and an app to help children with their homework

‘Pickup only in person from Ukraine’: Late last week, eBay postings claiming to be selling Russian tanks commandeered by Ukrainian forces were making their way across social media. But Claire, our politics reporter, notes that those postings don’t appear to be legitimate—and some are toys. Check out her deep dive into the postings here


ONE DUMB CONSPIRACY

Joe Rogan talking on his podcast. Next to him is a screenshot of a fake CNN tweet that he shared saying Steven Seagal was among Russian special forces in Ukraine.
PowerfulJRE/YouTube (Fair Use)

Don’t be like Joe Rogan and get fooled by this fake CNN tweet showing Steven Seagal invading Ukraine

A screenshot showing a fake CNN tweet claiming that veteran Hollywood actor Steven Seagal was invading Ukraine has fooled countless people online—including Joe Rogan

The fake tweet, which exploded across social media in the wake of Russia’s invasion, purported that Seagal had embedded himself among “Russian special forces.”

“Intelligence agencies around the world have spotted American actor Steven Seagal among Russian special forces positioned around the outskirts of Gostomel airfield near Kyiv captured by Russian airborne troops,” the fake tweet stated.

One of the biggest promoters of the fake tweet was none other than Rogan, the popular podcaster, who shared the screenshot to his nearly 15 million followers.

“If I had to guess the plot of this fucked up movie we’re living through I would say we are about 14 hours from the arrival of aliens,” Rogan quipped.

It’s not entirely surprising that so many initially believed the claim was true.

Seagal has repeatedly met with and praised Russian President Vladimir Putin. In fact, Seagal was actually banned from Ukraine for five years in 2017 after being granted both citizenship and a Russian passport by Putin.

But a quick glance at CNN’s Twitter account by Rogan and others would have quickly shown that no such tweet actually existed.

Not to mention, the image used in the fake tweet, according to Newsweek, is not from a warzone but from a 2017 film Seagal starred in called Cartels.

A representative for Seagal also denied to Newsweek that the actor was in any way involved with the military conflict.

Rogan eventually caught on and deleted his initial Instagram post. In a follow-up, Rogan admitted that he had been fooled by the fake tweet.

“I deleted my earlier post about Steven Seagal being in Ukraine because it was parody, which isn’t surprising, but honestly it wouldn’t be surprising if it was true either,” Rogan wrote. “He was banned from Ukraine in 2017 because he was labeled as a national security threat. I, like all of you, hope the tragic situation is resolved there quickly.”

The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has sparked a flood of disinformation online, including one video that fooled millions of people that purported to show a Russian soldier parachuting into Ukraine

Although the conspiracy theory about Seagal invading Ukraine is false, Seagal himself has spread conspiracy theories of his own regarding Russia’s invasion.

In a statement to Fox News Digital late last month, Seagal appeared to suggest that the invasion was not the fault of Russia but outside countries attempting to stir up division.

“Most of us have friends and family in Russia & Ukraine,” Seagal said. “I look at both as one family and really believe it is an outside entity spending huge sums of money on propaganda to provoke the two countries to be at odds with each other.”

In reality, Ukraine is a sovereign country that wishes to remain so. Putin on the other hand wants Ukraine to be subservient to Moscow.

It is unlikely that Seagal, who is now 69-years-old, will be fighting in any combat zones in the near future. 

The incident once again highlights the importance of fact-checking amid the invasion, which has seen an onslaught of false claims and propaganda spread online.

Mikael Thalen


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KEY STORIES

With the rise of employees working-from-home, people have gotten creative with all of the ways they can trick their computers into showing that they are online. The latest method is a mouse jiggler

How I Met Your Father debuted to less than stellar reviews, but as its first season nears its end, the show is getting review-bombed on Google for a throwaway joke about the K-pop group BTS.

Transform those kitchen scraps with the best composters to suit every home.*

If there is one word that sums up the Trump years, it’s disinformation. The Daily Dot takes you behind the scenes with nine different stories that expose a coordinated, organized, and weaponized use of disinformation. 

*The Daily Dot may receive a commission in connection with purchases of products or services featured here.


BEFORE YOU GO

Texas. Gov. Greg Abbott (R) was met with immediate shock and backlash after he called for parents of transgender children to be investigated by child protective services. One protest against it happened last week, with a viral video showing Texas students shouting down a local GOP candidate by saying fuck these fascists.”

students at desks chant and give the finger to speakers in front of screen that reads 'for the future of Texas'
r/publicfreakout

Now Playing: 🎶 “Stfu” by Deathsquad 🎶


 
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