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All Viral Videos Are Fakes Made by Jimmy Kimmel

Including this one from Sochi.

Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Turns out there wasn’t really a wolf outside U.S. Olympian Kate Hansen’s door in Sochi this week. It was yet another Jimmy Kimmel “viral video” prank.

Last fall, as you might recall, Kimmel revealed that he had staged a flaming twerking girl clip that everyone shared, and reported on, and shared some more.

And when he announced that he had duped media outlets big and small, said media outlets reacted by shrugging and playing the clip of him revealing the fact that they had been duped. Because content.

Same routine here. The only twist is that the prank was slightly deflated by … Inside Edition (?), and perhaps other outlets, who got in touch with a press officer from the U.S. luge team (they have a press officer!), who debunked the whole thing before the official reveal. Because luging is not funny.

Here’s the original:

Here’s the full version of that clip:

And here’s Kimmel explaining it all:

If you want, you could argue that we’re more likely to be duped by Kimmel (and Hansen, who seems like she was created specifically to be a multimedia/social star) because we’ve seen a steady stream of Sochi horror stories in the past few weeks — even though many of them are fakes.

But really, we are duped by viral videos because we want to be duped by viral videos, or slideshows, or whatever. Or more precisely, we don’t really care if they’re true or not, just that they distract us for a couple minutes. So, mission accomplished, Jimmy. See you in a few months.

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