We can say this is from the “You idiot” files. Except what is even more maddening, and humiliating, is that it apparently was not an idiot, and in fact, not real at all. But what became real was a reaction on social media that treated it as real.
Even though it was not real. I won’t say the hoaxster is without talent, and is certainly snarky, but is also very much a troublemaker.
On Sept. 21, 2023, the phrase "Glory to Urine" became one of the top trending U.S. topics on X (formerly Twitter). The phrase was trending thanks to a fake video that allegedly showed a billboard in New York City's Manhattan with the same three words, supposedly as an accidentally misspelled welcome message for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. He had been in town for the United Nations General Assembly.
NBC News' investigations senior reporter Ben Collins visited the same street corner on Sept. 21 and posted a video. In the video, he showed that the background clip of New York City that had been used to make the fake "Glory to Urine" video was not recent.
In Collins' humorous video, he praised "the ingenuity of American construction workers," pointing out in a joking manner that, according to the viral video, several visible structures had apparently miraculously changed in just a matter of hours.
Among the people fooled by this were apparently the plucky crew at The Blaze, a right wing publication, and many, many posts on X. Seriously, what is X? I know XXX. I know X-Men. I know what it means in the red light district. Who uses X? At any rate there was a lot of egg on a lot of faces. Or was there?
The fact is most people aware of this story will tell you they believe this is real. Most of the accounts posting it are obvious bots. So it doesn’t seem like this is an embarassment as much as a fabrication out of whole cloth designed to humilate President Zelenskyy.
Ths infuriates me. President Zelenskyy has shown more backbone and courage than the whole of the Russian army put together, and has proven to be a person for the ages.
The video is completely fake. No truth to it. It never happened. It was a made up hoax, and amplified by mostly sketchy accounts on a site itself growing ever more sketchy.
So if you are at a bar later, and hear some clown talking about Glory to Urine, it isn’t true. the probem is, in their mind, it did. Nothing we say or do will convince them the well edited video is phony.
So in a sense, it actually did happen. Someone made a lie into a truth, if only for the people so easily fooled by it all.
But as time marches on, these sorts of deepfake stunts will be less amusing and carry with them more risk of destabilization, which is the entire point.
The Russians don’t want to tell you the truth, or tell you a lie. They want to make discernment of either impossible. They want us all to live in a state of uncertainty. They want us all to be, “not sure.”
They love it when we, “just can’t say.”
And what helps make it possible? Elon’s toy, accelerating the velocity of lies since 2006, and at warp speed, since 2022.
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