Virtual (in)truth! – or fake videos on the web

Have you ever wondered to what extent Internet videos and pictures are related to reality? To what extent virtual world is the real world, to what extent people who post these information are experts? The Discovery Science station has the answer.

Virtual (in)truth! - or fake videos on the web

The Web is full of all sorts of unusual photos and videos, but are they all actually real? Discovery Science’s team of experts – the show’s host, Chuck Nice, and leading computer forensics expert, Hany Farid will take the most famous videos and photos under the microscope and find out what the Virtual (In)Truth is!

You’ve probably seen some of the scariest pictures of sharks jumping out of the sea to hunt down surfers, the host of Virtual (In)Truth is going to see if that’s possible and jump into the water full of the bloodthirsty beasts. Will he be able to verify the authenticity of the photos? This is just one of the things the experts at Discovery Science will be working on. What will the first episodes look like?

Episode descriptions:

Airing Thursday, November 12 at 10 p.m.

Chuck and Hany verify the authenticity of Internet videos that show ghosts pushing cars uphill and shoving them over “haunted” tracks in San Antonio, Texas. Then, using the laws of physics and the help of NBA champion Norm Nixon, Chuck attempts to recreate some incredible basketball tricks performed on film by California skateboarders.

The analyzed video – is it authentic?

Airing Thursday, November 19 at 10 p.m.

This time Chuck jumps into deep blue water in the Bahamas. He does this to see if the pictures popular on the internet where sharks prey on surfers by jumping out of the sea are real. Later, in the name of truth, Chuck risks his health in an attempt to break the world record for the number of boxers worn at one time.

Airing Thursday, November 26 at 10 p.m.

Chuck scours the Everglades wetlands, trying to investigate how much truth is hidden in a web-famous series of photos depicting a Florida mystery: the skunk ape. Will he find concrete evidence, and thus discover the missing link of evolution? Later, Chuck takes to the air to determine if the safe landing of an airplane with only one wing, shown in unusual Internet footage, could actually happen.

HOW TO SPOT FAKE VIDEOS?

Here’s advice from the show’s experts on how to tell if a video or photo circulating online is real:

1. if you are just looking at a video where someone has supposedly recorded a ghost, you need to know that it is not necessarily true! Often the “ghost effect” is created by accident – when a small worm runs through the camera lens, it can cause streaks on the film, which with a small dose of imagination can be perceived as the image of a paranormal creature.

2) Be sure to check the film for signs of editing – the frames should be in sequence and the subject should not be out of frame.

3) Pay attention to proper lighting – at any time during the film, light should fall on the subject according to its movement.

4) Ghost photography has been around since the beginning of photography. It is very easy to explain, because it is not a difficult effect to achieve – just a longer exposure time is enough to make the figure of a person passing in front of the lens become blurred and could be mistaken for a ghost.

5. A similar effect can be obtained on a photograph when the lens of our camera is wet or stained – then streaks are created and they can be regarded as the form of an out-of-this-world creature.

If the object that we observe moves on the film, it should be one continuous movement. Then it is more likely that the film is authentic.

7. the most important rule: you can never fully determine whether the film is authentic! With today’s capabilities of graphics programs, you can create a really believable video that has nothing to do with the truth in reality!

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