Reports show that a fake supermoon video streamed live on Facebook was watched 16 million times, for over 4 hours, on Wednesday.
This fake supermoon video was, in fact, a still image of a 9-years-old image of the moon over the Temple of Poseidon, in Greece. The author overlaid a timestamp and the sound of wind in the picture. As it is, the ‘video’ streamed the same image for over 4 hours.
The video was so fast in gaining popularity that it became the first result for users searching for supermoon on the Internet. However, some users did mention in the comments that there was something wrong with this live stream.
The fake supermoon video was posted on a Facebook page called EBUZZ. Even though the page’s activity diminished considerably since November 2016, it does have over 250,000 followers.
The video was removed from Facebook in the late afternoon. According to Facebook representatives, it violated the site’s policies. However, the page itself is still active.
The Real Behind the Fake Supermoon Video
The picture used in the fake video was taken by Greek photographer, Chris Kotsiopoulos, who claims that the image was stolen. He mentioned that other photos were stolen from him as well, but that none others were used to create a fake supermoon video.
Some users realized that the supermoon could not have stayed in the same spot for over three hours. However, Facebook counts a video view after three seconds of watching.
So, many users might not have realized the error in time. At least for the time being, the page’s administrators could not be contacted for an explanation. Therefore, the purpose of streaming the fake supermoon video has yet to be discovered.
This is not the first success of a fake video streamed during major events. In September 2017, a fake stream showed what seemed to be Hurricane Irma reached over 6 million views. Those shocking images it presented were already nine months old at the time.
The Super Blue Moon and Lunar Eclipse occurred on January 31st. As they happened, the moon was 14% brighter than usual and closer than usual to Earth.
Image source: Wikimedia