One of the most important rules of the internet is that you absolutely need to double check everything you see on social media before you share it, because there’s a good chance it’s a big fat lie.
Sadly, Pakistan’s Awami Tehreek Secretary General, Khurram Nawaz Gandapur recently neglected to abide by this rule, and made himself look a bit of a fool when he tweeted out a video of an aeroplane which managed to avoid crashing into an oil tanker on the runway by inches.
It’s an exciting video, undoubtedly. Gandapur was quick to praise the pilot for their bravery and skill in narrowly avoiding what surely would have been a fiery end for all on board. The problem is that the video in question was actually footage of a stunt from Grand Theft Auto V.
The original video came from TheUiGamer, who predominately makes videos about aeroplane stunts in GTA V. You can check it out for yourself below and judge just how realistic it really is. Spoiler; it’s not very realistic at all.
To be fair to Gandapur, apparently he wasn’t the only one who mistook the GTA V footage for reality. A number of YouTube users also seemed to think that the ‘miraculous’ near miss was a real life event. A testament to modern graphics, or a dire warning that too many people out there these days take everything at face value and are too lazy to fact check?
The latter. Definitely the latter.
Unfortunately, Gandapur’s mistake was easily the most high-profile. His tweet was deleted after others pointed out the blunder, but this is the internet, so nothing is ever really gone. (It’s archived here.) The poor guy subsequently faced a heavy dose of trolling.
I’d have a little more sympathy for Gandapur, but if you actually watch the video of the stunt, you’ll see there’s really no way anyone should mistake it for real life. I mean, GTA V is a great looking game, but come on.
Hello, this is a simulation video. Such things aren't possible in real life situations. If so the KLM & Panam crash would have been avoided. You should learn about lift.
— Vignesh 🇮🇳 (@CKP_Vignesh) July 6, 2019
I get that some people aren’t quite as techno-savvy as others, but if we have grown men – politicians no less – sharing footage of games as if they’re real events, we have a bit of a problem.
In unrelated news, I just saw this insane short clip of an Italian plumber fighting a giant lizard in the sewers that will blow your minds.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.