Remember Tim Draper’s plan, announced last year, for a ballot initiative to split California into six states? The story got picked up nearly everywhere. Draper even appeared on the Colbert Report. The campaign, of course, was dead on arrival, but the drama behind it refuses to die.
It seems Arno Petition Consultants — tagline: “Putting the Power in ‘People Powered’ Politics”– the firm Draper hired to collect the necessary signatures, may have been pulling shenanigans in the course of their shoe-leather work…
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In a blog post on its web site, the Dublin-based company used its own “internal discovery filters” — primarily social media channels — to confirm the spoof video was fake.
The agency’s team of journalists started with the common sense test, trying to address questions like:
-Why the blunt editing at the end of the video?”
-The nature of the woman’s fall. She appeared to stabilze on the door before the fall. It also appeared she pushed her left foot off the door. (Watch from 26 seconds to 29 seconds)
-Question mark over whether there is a sound of glass breaking just before the woman hits the glass (28-second mark)
-Why did the roommate not appear more shocked?
Then, they tried searching for Caitlin Heller across multiple online platforms. They tweeted, YouTube messaged, Facebooked and called 13 listed Caitlin Hellers via the White Pages.
When that digital footprint led nowhere, Storyful’s journalists determined the YouTube account name was likely not real. Multi-platform searches were left running to capture people who might finally recognize and name the ‘twerker’.
When no one claimed video or attempted to monetize the video using social media by Monday, September 9, Storyful became even more skeptical of the film’s veracity.
They could see the video was still not being monetized on the YouTube CMS by an agency, distributor or the uploader. On a video with 8 million views, accrued in a matter of days, Storyful said they considered it unusual for a viral sensation not to have been signed by a promoter. Also, no major network had managed to secure an interview with the YouTube star of the week. No-one could find Caitlin Heller.
Early Monday, Jimmy Kimmel of ABC said he had the, “first interview with the very flammable girl from Worst Twerk Fail Ever.” Eight hours before the broadcast, one of Storyful’s journalists turned the fake theory into a wider conspiracy theory:
Later that night, Jimmy Kimmel introduced the full, unedited video on his show, “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” putting an end to the mystery.
Readers, did you watch the twerking girl on social media?