That viral video of a homeless guy buying food for everyone is total bullshit

Early last week, a cloying video was posted on YouTube, in which a homeless man is given $100 and then followed to see how he spends it. The video is cloying and exploitative, and so obviously quickly went viral on Facebook, then was reported on by CNN and other major news networks without any skepticism, despite the fact that it was filmed by popular viral “prankster” Josh Paler Lin.

So far it’s been watched 28 million times, and has raised $130k which might actually go to charity, maybe, who knows. If you haven’t seen it yet, watch below. Will the homeless man spend the money on liquor, or will he buy food to share with other homeless people? You won’t believe what happens next!

If, after seeing a gullible relative share the video on Facebook, you thought to yourself, “that seems like total bullshit,” well, you’re right. And not just because it’s self-evident in the slick production—that everyone is somehow mic’ed up so well that you can hear their clothes ruffling crystal-clear over the roar of the nearby highway, that it was was released just before Christmas, that the acting is Lifetime movie-level awful, the wardrobe choices offensively calculated… No, in addition to all that, someone claims to have witnessed the filming, and confirmed that it’s all made up.

“The whole thing is bullshit,” nursing student Taugan Tan Kadalim explained to Vocativ. “[The homeless guy] knew he was being followed.”

Kadalim had just bought a lottery ticket at the liquor store feature in the video, when he noticed Lin sitting in a car with his cameraman and Thomas, the homeless guy in the video. Since he recognized Lin from his prank videos, he decided to wait around and watch.

He saw Lin get out of the car, talk to the clerk at the liquor store, then return to the car, talk to Thomas, who then exited the car and went into the store. Since Kadalim came forward, Lin has refused to respond to these criticisms. So there you have it: yet another bullshit viral video. via