A spoof video has been shared by several social media users as English singer-songwriter David Bowie predicting the future of the internet, social media, emoticons, targetted advertisements and the rise of misinformation from far-right groups during an interview on BBC Newsnight.
We found that the spoof video was created by British comedy writer Michael Spicer who also tweeted the video out himself.
While it is true that Bowie did talk about the future of the internet during a 1999 BBC Newsnight interview with Jeremy Paxman, but the predictions made in the viral video were not part of the interview. In the original interview, Bowie spoke about the potential of the internet on the music industry and how the relationship between an artist and the audience could change.
Those sharing the viral video believed the interview as a real one and captioned it, "David Bowie Predicts the Impact of the Internet on Newsnight (1999)".
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
Starting from 9:12, Bowie can be heard talking about the potential of the internet when Paxman asks him about what specifically about the internet was Bowie fascinated with.
"I don’t think we’ve even seen the tip of the iceberg. I think the potential of what the Internet is going to do to society, both good and bad, is unimaginable. I think we’re actually on the cusp of something exhilarating and terrifying," Bowie says at 10:45 in the video.
At no point in the interview did Bowie mention anything about the emoticons, targetted advertisement and the rise of misinformation by far-right groups — things that were seen in the viral video.
We then conducted a keyword search on Twitter and found the viral video posted by Spicer on his verified handle. The video was a spoof created by Spicer, who cut the original footage and interspersed clips of him dressed as Bowie. The video started with Bowie's statement from 1999 and then goes on to talk about things we find on the internet in 2022.
Evidently, a spoof video created by a comedian was shared by several social media users as a real video of musician David Bowie predicting the future of the internet.