When I was little, I used to think everything on the Internet was true. My momma never told me differently, after all, so maybe this is a parenting problem. I don't remember exactly what made me realize that sometimes, people on the Internet say things that aren't actually correct, but it was a earth-shattering realization. Never again could I trawl the world wide web with my innocence intact. Never again could I watch YouTube videos without questioning the very motives behind them.
Which brings us to a snowboarder in Japan who was chased by a bear on a slope. And this video just doesn't seem real. Like the Jimmy Kimmel prank from the Olympics two years ago, something just feels off. Our own Internetsman Seth Rosenthal provided us with a thorough guide at sniffing out hoaxes when that happened, and all of it applies to this video, too. Here's why this has to be fake.
1. There's a forced pop culture connection. The inclusion of the snowboarder singing Rihanna's "Work" feels like an addition solely to help it go viral. There's a reason it's Rihanna, not "Mr. Jones" by Counting Crows or something.
2. The way it was recorded makes no sense. Are we really to believe that a snowboarder went on a run holding a selfie stick that filmed the entire thing with a GoPro? Why? One attached to her head, sure, but a selfie stick?
3. The YouTube channel doesn't check out. It only has three videos, and the other two were uploaded just days ago. Almost as if, five days ago, people planning this wannabe viral stunt thought, "Hey, we need the channel to be more believable."
4. The bear is too perfect. The way the camera pans over to the bear several times but never lingering on it too longer just feels so, so, so fishy.
5. Why would a hypothetical bear chase her in the first place? Bears, unlike humans, don't really care if they go viral or not. I don't know. I'm not bear expert, but that just seems like unusual behavior. Everybody knows bears actually mimic, not chase.
Black bears do exist in Japan, so that part of the story checks out. But the rest of the video seems too hoaxy to believe. Maybe it was Kimmel or maybe it was some other creator of Internet content trying to fool everyone. Well, consider us skeptics and, as always, STAY WOKE.