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David Bowie Predicted Impact Of Internet In 1999? Viral Video Is A Satire

A video claiming to show English singer-songwriter David Bowie predicting the “Impact of the Internet” in an interview with BBC Newsnight in 1999, is being widely shared on social media platforms. In the viral clip, ‘Bowie’ is seen talking about social media, emoticons, targeted advertisement, spread of misinformation among other things prevalent in the present-day online ecosystem. However, Newschecker has found the video to be satirical and created by British comic Michael Spicer.

Veteran Bollywood actress Simi Garewal was among the social media users who shared the viral clip allegedly showing David Bowie predicting the impact of the internet in a 1999 interview.

In the viral video, ‘Bowie’ can be heard saying that in the future “we will be wasting hours and hours of our lives” watching videos of cats and dogs and how we will not be able to watch the videos without skipping an advert that will be “tailored to your internet viewing habit.” The video shows him  talking about “far-right groups spreading misinformation” on social media sites.

The same video is doing the rounds on Facebook 

David Bowie was a highly regarded English singer-songwriter. His famous songs include Sound and Vision, Station to Station, Heroes, Golden Years among others.

Fact Check/Verification

To check the authenticity of the viral video, we searched for keywords ‘David Bowie 1999 Interview On Impact Of Internet’ on Google and found a YouTube video titled ‘David Bowie speaks to Jeremy Paxman on BBC Newsnight (1999)’ uploaded on the official YouTube channel of BBC Newsnight on January 11, 2016.

Screenshot of Google Search about David Bowie's 1999 Interview
Screenshot of Google Search

In the 16-minute video uploaded by the BBC Newsnight, Bowie did talk about the potential of the internet. However, the video does not appear the same as the one that is being shared. In  the interview, Bowie said, “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.” However, there was no mention of misinformation, social media, adverts or any other claims made in the viral video. 

Newschecker looked up ‘David Bowie Predicts Impact Of Internet on Newsnight’ on Twitter to find the origin of the video. We found that the viral video was posted by Michael Spicer, a British comic, on his official Twitter handle on January 3, 2022 with a caption, “David Bowie Predicts the Impact of the Internet on Newsnight (1999).” Spicer is known for his satirical videos and spoofs.

The spoof video was created by Spicer, who was himself dressed up like Bowie, and had interspersed clips from David Bowie’s original interview with BBC Nightnews in 1999. Twitter users also shared the original video in the comments section.

A frame by frame comparison of the video shows that the background of the videos is completely different.

Still from original video Still from satirical video

Also read: Amid Concerns Over Paytm Spoof App To Con Shopkeepers, Scripted Videos Go Viral

Conclusion

A satirical video created by British comic Michael Spicer showing David Bowie predicting the impact of the internet is being shared by social media users believing it to be an authentic video of the late English singer-songwriter predicting the impact of internet in a 1999 interview with BBC Newsnight.

Result: Satire/Sarcasm

Our Sources

Twitter Account Of Michael Spicer

YouTube Channel Of BBC Newsnight:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiK7s_0tGsg


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Vasudha Beri
Vasudha Beri
Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.
Vasudha Beri
Vasudha Beri
Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

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