Three days ago the internet went into a frenzy as a video of a South Korean theme park ride went massively viral across Twitter, Youtube, Instagram and various blogs.
The video showed a vertical “Gyro Drop” ride which appeared to shoot people out at the top, spinning them around furiously before bringing them back to earth safely. Initial reaction was absolute amazement that such a ride could exist.
But, as it turns out, it doesn’t exist.
The theme park video has been viewed 25 million times on Twitter alone…
WHO even thinks about creating something like this?!?!!???? pic.twitter.com/oXByLOhW54
— dweena (@itsnotdweena) June 13, 2019
A quick search on Youtube shows that although the “Gyro Drop” ride is real, it is nothing like the video that has been shared. It appears that the viral video which tricked so many people was made using CGI.
The real “Gyro Drop” ride is scary but nothing like the doctored video that has been going viral across social media.
It’s a good ride and it would certainly be scary for most people to attempt it but in reality it is very similar to many other “vertical drop” rides around the world. Numerous Youtube videos show what the actual ride is like…
The South Korean theme park video is a perfect example of a Deep Fake video.
What are deep fake videos?
Deep fake videos are essentially manipulated videos that on first glance appear to be entirely genuine to the naked eye. That is why so many people thought the Korean ride was real and shared it on social media.
Deep fake videos are on the rise. It is seen as the latest evolution in fake news. Just this week, we have seen Mark Zuckerberg targeted using a deep fake video. That’s not actually him talking in the video, but a doctored version of him.
The viral power of social media is what then propels these videos to new levels. These are two fairly innocuous examples, but experts worry about the potential for serious trouble with these deep fake videos in the future.
What does this mean for the travel industry?
That’s the question that a lot of people are trying to figure out. There is significant evidence that the video first started popping up in Thailand but nobody has been able to trace the source as of yet.
Viral videos such as these can have a huge impact on tourism for a particular country. As fake news travels fast, it’s worry that other regions could use doctored videos or images. It could be used as an attempt to either attract visitors or dissuade them from visiting somewhere. Fake news is a powerful tool in the travel industry.
Just last year, the Indonesian island of Bali has accused competitor regions and countries of spreading hoaxes about the danger of volcanic activity on Mount Agung in order to benefit from the island’s recent troubles.