Today's Hoax: The Screaming Google Employee

Monday, December 09, 2013 - 03:10 PM

Last week, we threw up our hands in the face of the endless deluge of viral hoaxes. Then, we tried to make peace with living in a fake world and even found a lie that we liked. Well, it's Monday, and just like you and I, viral internet hoaxes are clocking in for their workweek.

This video, purportedly of a Google employee yelling at a protestor, showed up on Gawker's Valleywag blog this morning

On Twitter, some journalists thought it smelled fake. There was no evidence per se, it was more aesthetic -- the supposed Google employee was too perfectly entitled and too outrage-inducing. He seemed like a character a protestor would dream up. Turns out that's the case.

Reporter Susie Cagle says that the guy playing the angry Google employee is in fact Max Alper, an organizer for labor union Unite Here. Google image search seems to agree. And the San Francisco Bay Guardian, which initially reported the story, now says that they were hoaxed.

So, I don't know what the takeaway is. I guess the same takeaway as always -- be wary of stories that incite your emotions and condense a narrative in incredibly tidy ways. Try not to succumb to hoax fatigue and go into some kind of deep, prolonged sleep. If you'd like to read something real and substantial that'll make you feel something uncheaply, today's New York Times piece about the atrocious conditions in some New York City homeless shelters is important and truthful. 


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Comments [1]

Will Caxton

"... just like you and I, ..." should be "just like you and me". The phrase "you and me" is the object of the verb phrase "are clocking in", so it should be in the objective case. Or remove "you and", and "just like I" is obviously wrong.

Feb. 21 2014 02:25 PM

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TLDR is a short podcast and blog about the internet by Meredith Haggerty. You can subscribe to the TLDR podcast here. You can follow our blog here. I tweet @manymanywords and @tldr.

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