Thursday, July 9, 2020

Not everything we see online is correct

The other day I was scrolling through Twitter and I chanced upon a video post. It showed an elderly couple dancing. The text in the post said, "He is 94 and she is 91 - they still have the moves!! Just awesome."

I watched the video. No doubt, the performance was awesome. Amazing, dexterous moves by an elderly couple. I couldn't resist watching it again.


I was tempted to retweet the post. But I checked myself after seeing the age of the couple mentioned in the tweet. Also, I wanted to know something more about this wonderful pair, before I shared the clip. 

CHECKING YOUTUBE

I went to Youtube to see if it had the video and if I could get any details.

Since I didn't know their names, I wondered what should I search for. I began typing out "he is 9... " and immediately many suggestions came up. 


I clicked on "he is 94 and she's 91", and there were seven videos that matched the search. All of them the same videos but with different headings.

Though there were not many details, I got the name of the couple - Dietmar and Nellia.

There are many more videos if you give a search with the couple's names.

CHECKING WEBSITES

Now I opened a web browser to search the Internet for some information about them.

There were a few websites that matched my search. I clicked on two of them: Seeitlive.co, and mirror.co.uk.

They are Nellia and Dietmar Ehrentraut, and they are 66 and 72 years old, respectively. They’ve been married to one another since 1970—and they both love to dance. Although they’re not necessarily a household name, the Ehrentrauts are pretty well-known in the dance community as passionate and daring dancers, no matter how old they get!
The article gives the sources of information, including the website of the couple

An elderly Austrian couple have shot to online fame after their barnstorming routine in a veterans dance contest. 
Footage of Dietmar Ehrentraut, 70, and his wife Nellia, 64, energetically boogieing in Bavaria has been viewed more than 62 million times.
The young-at-heart pair, who live in the tranquil town of Durmersheim in Baden-Wuerttemberg but were born in Austria, have been dancing together for decades.
And a few weeks ago their moves were caught on camera by impressed audience member during a veterans dance competition in Bavaria.
See It Live, is a part of Shareably Media Network that was founded in 2015 by a team of UC Berkeley graduates and is located in Los Angles, California. See It Live shares "the best entertainment content from around the world with you".

The Mirror is one of Britain’s well-known media organisations.

Nellia and Dietmar Ehrentraut are not 94 and 91.

WHY I'AM FOCUSSED ON THE AGE

I am not trying to be a spoilsport here. Nor am I belittling the absolutely impressive performance by the elderly couple, who, I now realise, are extremely gifted, and they conduct training sessions. 

Why I think the wrong age must be called out is not only because that's factually incorrect but we also tend to associate the impeccable performance with that age, which is wrong. 

Let's be wary of "clickbait" information that we see online unless it's on a well-established media organisation's website or it's been put out by a person we know is credible.

Let's not share anything unless we are sure about its veracity.

29 comments:

  1. Dear Pradeep,
    Thank you for writing this post today. We need more people like you in this world of thoughtless shares and forwards.
    The latest fake video that has gone viral came as a shock when a close friend forwarded it to me. I'm sharing the true story here.
    But the fake video is so real, I thought it was true.
    https://www.boomlive.in/fake-news/british-airways-thank-you-and-goodbye-video-not-made-by-airline-8717

    A big dollop of common sense and a pinch of vigilance is certainly the need of the hour.

    Have a lovely day.

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    1. Hi Arti - Thank you. Yes. There are so many such clips that make the rounds. People mindlessly forward such messages and in some cases they have been wreaking havoc. Take care.

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  2. Hi Pradeep - I so agree ... that's why I don't participate ... take care - Hilary

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  3. Hari OM
    Spot on - and I also consider the re-posting of any such thing the equivalent of involving oneself in gossip/Chinese whispers. There is a long culture in human history of wanting to 'tell the tales' to be part of the crowd 'in the know'... without the effort of research and supporting knowledge!!! YAM xx

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    Replies
    1. Hi Yamini - You are very right ... The proclivity to share is sort of innate to human nature, it seems. And unlike the pre-Internet era, today anyone and everyone can put anything in the public domain, something that only professionals, like publishers and broadcasters did.

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  4. A good lesson that bears repeating, especially in these times.

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  5. You are absolutely correct. Most of the online videos and photos are exaggerated. I am telling this by experience. I have been fooled a few times by booking a hotel room after seeing beautiful photos of the hotel.

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  6. You have done a detail search and good explanation .

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  7. Those are still impressive dance moves for their actual ages. I wonder why the original tweet misrepresented their ages. Good for you for fact checking.

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  8. It's good that you did the research and wrote about their actual age. It's important to bring out the truth behind sensationalist titles and content on the Internet.

    Destination Infinity

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    1. Hi Rajesh - There is so much clickbait stuff online.

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  9. This is a very good example of how video or tweet needs to be checked ;)

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  10. Hi Pradeep - they are very young looking 90 year olds aren't they??? I think the internet is gradually training us to not believe anything we read or see without investigating it further. I've fallen into the trap of clicking on a FB ad for a product that looks fantastic, only to find it has poor reviews, or is available for quarter of the price on ebay.
    They'll say anything to get people to click - and I bet saying that couple was 90+ would have more than tripled the views because it made it amazing instead of just entertaining.

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    1. Hi Leanne - In cases like this the video is real, and not fake. But the accompanying information is wrong. Giving us a misleading picture of the whole thing. And, next time, when we see this couple dancing, we will tell others that they are actually in the 90s, which is not true.
      O, you are right. One has to be very careful of advertisements.

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  11. Wise words and advice. It's so easy to get sucked in, especially in these strange times. Be well!

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    1. Hi Darla - You are right. There are people who take advantage of our fears and put out misleading, if not even malicious, content on the web.

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  12. There are false posts spreading through social media. You done a great job to reveal the truth

    thanks

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    1. Hi Krishna - We are in an age when anyone is able to put information in the public domain increasing the risk of inaccuracies and falsehoods.
      Thank you for visiting the blog and for the comments.

      Delete
  13. Absolutely! I too have watched this video and amused... good that you come up with the truth. I dont share contents that doesn't content me or looked unlike real.

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  14. Yes you are absolutely right, good work..

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  15. It has come to the point where we must fact check the news websites as well since the media tends to publish things on mere hearsay. These days all of us need to be skeptics when it comes to online information. Good work on calling out the false information.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Dashy - When we find something extraordinary in a message, then we need to be skeptical.

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  17. True,all that glitters in net is not gold. Many a time our phones will be flooded with messages, out of which at least a fifty percent will be false or make-belief. I too felt that their body language does not read ninety plus. They may dance like this in their nineties, but the body will declare the age. You are inquisitive and hence you have done a good job of finding the fact.Many people will not go for a search like this.

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    1. Hi Sarala - I really don't understand why people add falsehoods in messages.

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  18. Yes, there are many articles and videos that are questionable and I rarely forward to others (unless there is some genuine joke in the whole thing)

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  19. I Agree with you Mr Pradeep that there are plenty of fake videos and even write up that goes round. we must be careful before we forward it to our friends. I did experience this on whatsapp where there was a fake write up on 1098 child-line that actually responds to children in need of care and protection. A helpline for children, and then some one has been circulating asking people to collect left over food to donate, which was a false news and I stopped when some one forwarded me and sorted it out also with our local NGO that collaborates with 1098. Similarly there are so many other videos that generates and spreads negativity and hatred... I appreciate you for doing so much of background work to be able to find whether the information stated was right. I agree we must not get carried away by false information. Thank you for sharing.

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