A fake video portraying Mark Zuckerberg and announcing the deletion of Facebook has attracted over 8 million views on social media.
The video involves a software trick that projects somebody else’s lips onto Mark Zuckerberg’s face. In the video, the “fake” Zuckerberg states, “after much consideration, I’ve decided that I, the Zuck man himself, will be deleting Facebook”.
Despite containing a satire notification, a number of Facebook users mistook the video as an official announcement by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, while many others questioned whether the video was real.
In a thread of comments below the video, one Facebook user attracted 102 interactions after stating “I’m pretty convinced this is all made up” while another user attracted 51 interactions after stating “I don’t think [it’s the] Facebook founder…speaking on this video”.
The video was published on the Facebook page “Video of the Internet” and the page administrator, perhaps surprised by the reaction, published a comment under the video that states “Hey everyone! As you may have guessed, this is just a joke! Facebook is not going anywhere! Thanks for watching and sharing with all your friends! – Fake Zuck”.
The page administrator’s comment has received 103 interactions at the time of writing.
The video has been published at a time of intense scrutiny surrounding Facebook’s business model, the privacy of its users and “fake news”. It also comes at time when users are seemingly increasingly incapable of identifying satire for what it is, or distinguishing between satire and “fake news”.
Satire has a long and proud tradition across many large media publications and Google News, one of the biggest news aggregators in the world, has created a “satire” category for news outlets publishing this type of content.
When a news item is satirical, Google News will typically mark it as such in its news results (to minimize the possibility of creating confusion).
The real Zuckerberg spent Tuesday and Wednesday of this week testifying on alleged electoral interference, “fake news,” hate speech and user privacy, as well as a host of other issues, before Congress.
During his testimony he alleged that Aleksandr Kogan, a Professor at the University of Cambridge, may have passed data to other organizations beyond just Cambridge Analytica.
The data passed on by Kogan comprised personal information on 87 million Facebook users, over 70 million of whom are based in the US.