Michael Jackson

A video purportedly showing Michael Jackson alive has been stirring controversies since it appeared online last week. According to a statement released on Tuesday, September 1 by German broadcaster RTL the video hoax was an experiment aimed at showing how quickly misinformation and conspiracy theories can surface on the internet in a short matter of time.

“We wanted to show how easily users can be manipulated on the Internet with hoax videos,” spokesman Heike Schultz of Cologne-based RTL said. “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 hoax that was posted on a video website under “an anonymous source” just for one day looked amateurish. “Unfortunately, many people believed it was true,” Schultz said. “Even though we tried to create the video in a way that every normal user can see right away that it is a fake.” But with the video showing a coroner’s van entering what seems like a parking garage and Jackson getting out of the back with another person more than 880,000 people were able to watch it and wonder if maybe after all the “King of Pop” was still alive.

As of whether the video upset some of Jackson’s fans, Schultz said, “We didn’t want to dishonor Michael Jackson, but we needed a strong name to get this experiment going [if] we [had] used Britney Spears, then the fans of Britney would have complained.”

Even though, the video was removed by the media company other web sites around the world have since picked it up and are still showing it… Like us… Press Play!

Written by Valerie Varasse

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