These days, it’s probably safer to assume every photo you see online has a filter on it.
Firstly, it’ll prepare you for the guaranteed disappointment of seeing the image subject IRL, and secondly, because sometimes a hazy filter is the only thing saving you from tearing your hair out in despair at the reality of it all.
However, the technology of using filters on videos is still catching up, and can often be glitchy. Usually this is fine, because if the dog ears you’re wearing on a video suddenly drop out it doesn’t matter, people should know you don’t actually have floppy dog ears coming out of your forehead and if they don’t they need to grow up.
One vlogger in China, however, had managed to dupe more than 100,000 people into believing she was something she wasn’t, all thanks to a clever video filter.
Check out the moment she was unmasked below:
A seemingly young, ‘cute goddess’ who called herself ‘Your Highness Qiao Biluo’ left followers speechless after the filter she was using suffered a technical fault and revealed her true identity as a 58-year-old woman during a live stream.
The woman was reportedly giving a routine live broadcast on Chinese streaming site DouYu when her true identity was inadvertently uncovered. According to BBC News, the streamer didn’t realise her facade had dropped until she noticed her viewing figures rapidly decreasing.
According to China’s Global Times, the streamer was known for her ‘sweet and healing voice’, and was popular on the site, with many viewers donating more than 100,000 yuan ($14,533, £11,950) to her.
This is reportedly the difference in ‘Your Highness Qiao Biluo’s’ appearance when the filter is applied and when it glitched:
Before the glitch, the 58-year-old had been asked to remove the filter from her face by viewers, though she refused, reportedly replying: ‘I can’t show my face until I receive gifts worth 100,000 yuan ($11,950). After all, I’m a good-looking host.’
Though she began to receive donations, many viewers withdrew their transactions after the filter fell away.
While many viewers, mostly men, were annoyed by the 58-year-old’s deceptive actions, others on the streaming site questioned the IQ of the people so willing to part with their money.
Earning money from live-streaming has become a lucrative business, especially for young female streamers in China, who make money by singing karaoke in their bedrooms, or filming themselves eating snacks, for example. The country has around 425 million live-streamers, with the use of face filters being common practice.
Conversely, despite the 58-year-old’s mishap with the filter, and subsequent ceasing of live streaming, her DouYu profile has reportedly gained even more followers since the incident, hitting the 650,000 mark.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.