Update: Oh, nooooooo, it’s a hoax. Oh, we were so fooled! You win again, E!, with your creative viral promotion for your new scripted series The Royals, starring [LINK ” “” “” “0” ]!
“Blogs and news agencies from Daily Mail to Cosmopolitan covered the video not knowing whether it was real or fake,” E! writes. Suckers.
As far as hoaxes go, this is a pretty great one.
The clip is tailor-made for viral success, and has quickly racked up over 700,000 views, but there’s more to this than meets the eye. For one thing, Dahlberg is on LinkedIn as an e-commerce manager with “digital marketing” and “online marketing” listed among his skills, so he obviously knows a thing or two about manipulating the Internet.
For another, doesn’t this video look particularly high-quality for a “viral video?” It’s also shot in landscape, which roughly 75 percent of the population has not caught onto doing yet. Lastly, it’s the only video uploaded to Dahlberg’s YouTube account, which is suspicious in and of itself – generally, the smaller a person’s Internet presence, the less trustworthy their content is. (Or at least that’s what we tell ourselves.)
Here’s an incredibly thorough debunking of the video, which includes a serious deep-dive into how the video seems to have been manipulated with a computer program.
The Metropolitan Police, which is in charge of security at the palace, tell PEOPLE that they have calls about the incident for several days. But a spokesman says, “We are not aware of any such incident.”
“A” for effort, though.
• Reporting by Simon Perry