Yeah, That ‘Is Your Food Fake Or Real’ Video Is Nonsense
The social media landscape isn't just a beautiful collection of cat videos and pictures of other people's kids you don't care about. It's also where fake nonsense goes to spread its wings and fly.
One of the latest videos to go viral comes from Blossom, an advertising firm owned by First Media that uses its viral videos to secure sponsorships from other companies to feature in their videos. It's in Blossom's best interests to get as many likes and views and shares as they can on random videos so that their reach is wide enough to attract big-name clients like Bed Bath & Beyond.
The problem is that nothing about this video is helpful or useful at all. It's all fake nonsense that, because it's presented in a cute style that's popular with viral videos, seems legit to people who don't want to bother fact checking it. And they shouldn't have to, really. Facebook has deemed Blossom trustworthy enough to make it a verified page with over fifty-one million followers. That alone lends their content enough credibility for people to trust it without digging too deeply into whether or not any of it is true.
For example, the video makes the claim that rice is laced with plastic to keep costs down because somehow manufacturing plastic in the shape of rice to add to a bag of rice is cheaper than just filling it with rice in the first place. Of course, it's not true. It's just one of those things that goes around on the internet and enough people believe it to make it a thing. The video shows so-called "plastic rice" turning transparent when heated. Instead of, you know, melting like plastic would actually do.
It also shows that you can find "ground up rocks marketed as fortified calcium" in baby food by using a magnet. The problem is that calcium isn't magnetic, nor are most rocks, ground up or otherwise. Iron is magnetic, though. And we put it in vitamins for a reason.
Due to Twitter threads like this one from Arieh Kovler, Facebook has added a "Related Article" to the video that links to this hoax alert post on Lead Stories. It'd probably be a better idea to just remove the video altogether since it's nothing but lies, but Facebook doesn't make any money by not showing people content, and it doesn't much seem to care whether or not any of it's true.
The same thing happens with a lot of Life Hack videos, which can often contain not only misleading but dangerous content. The video below goes into some of the problems with one video from 5-Minute Chefs that contains "hacks" like soaking strawberries in bleach to turn them white and using hot glue to brush your teeth.
Spoiler alert: Neither hack is recommended.
If you see the Blossom video making the rounds in your social media feed, do yourself and everyone else a favor and let the person who posted it know that it's nonsense. Let them know most everything from these cutesy-looking channels is nonsense. Then report the video to Facebook, although it probably won't do any good.
Of course, even when the videos aren't promoting misleading claims or potentially dangerous life hacks, they could just be making stuff up that won't hurt you, but definitely won't work as advertised. Here's another video taking down some of those quick cooking videos that go around. They know most people won't actually try making the recipes they pretend are real, so they just whip up videos that seem like they'd work, then sit back and collect all that sweet, sweet advertising revenue.
Bottom line: don't trust anything on the internet, especially if you found it on social media.