If you haven’t seen the fart-spray-glitter-bomb video yet, watch it. That clip, which shows former NASA engineer Mark Rober getting revenge on some porch pirates, has been viewed more than 45 million times so far. But it turns out it was partly faked, though Rober says he only found out after the clip had been posted. Thursday, Rober posted this note on his Twitter feed explaining what happened.
I posted this as a comment response to my recent viral tweet/video but I’m posting it as a new tweet as well: pic.twitter.com/g2VHsQWh1z
— Mark Rober (@MarkRober) December 20, 2018
That note reads in part:
I removed 1.5 minutes of footage from the video since originally uploading. I was presented with information that caused me to doubt the veracity of 2 of the 5 reactions in the video. These were reactions that were captured during a two week period while the device was at [a] house 2 hours away from where I live. I put a feeler out for people willing to put a package on their porch and this person (who is a friend of a friend) volunteered to help. To compensate them for their time and willingness to risk putting a package on their porch I offered financial compensation for any successful recoveries of the package. It appears (and I’ve since confirmed) in these two cases, the “thieves” were actually acquaintances of the person helping me.
Rober goes on to apologize for the error saying he should have done more and that he regrets that all the time and effort spent on the device and the video might now be tainted by his mistake. He writes, “I’m sorry for putting something up on my channel that was misleading.” I’ve watched several of Rober’s videos and he does spend time in some of them debunking fake YouTube videos.
But I guess this is the perfect ending to the YouTube video of the year. In 2018, you can’t believe everything you see, hear, or read even if the person presenting the information is completely sincere there may be more going on than you know. But there’s no reason to be completely cynical about it either. In this case, most of the reactions in the original clip are real.
Here’s another Mark Rober video featuring a homemade device which looks like fun.