Vox.com, the brainy news-explainer site, has announced that it fell for one of the Internet’s many tricks. Allow it to explain:
Correction: This post originally presented the video of a bird pooping on Putin as real, but comparison with Russian news footage from the event shows it to be a hoax. Putin’s unintentionally ironic speech decrying “excessive ambitions in war,” though, was very real.
Right here is where a media critic generally hammers the offender for naivete, stupidity and a failure to observe reportorial protocol. All of which applies to this instance, but hey, that fake pooping video looks pretty convincing, in part because the white blotch falls not on Putin’s dome — an obvious landing spot for a hoaxster — but on his left shoulder.
The Post’s “Know More” blog also fell for it. That post is now titled “Vladimir Putin gives speech on dangers of military aggression.” Its URL reads, “bird-defecates-on-vladimir-putin-during-speech-video.” It, too, has apprised readers that it got taken: “Correction: A bird did not defecate on Russian President Vladimir Putin during a speech on Friday. The video appears to have been a hoax.”