German company RTL purposely created a video hoax of Michael Jackson jumping out of a coroner van to show how fast misinformation and conspiracy theories can spread on the Internet. The video may have had some people believing that Michael Jackson is still alive despite his passing in late June.
The video received well over 1.75 million views since it was uploaded in the last week. RTL removed it from YouTube, but several other people added the video back. Heike Schultz, a spokesman for RTL said that the video was a hoax to show how easily people can be manipulated and that the response was “breathtaking.”
RTL admitted the hoax in a report on August 26 in their daily news show Explosiv. “We didn’t want to dishonor Michael Jackson, but we needed a strong name to get this experiment going,” stated Schultz in the AP interview.