Last week, the Internet quickly became obsessed with a random snapshot of Justin Bieber chewing on a burrito in an unconventional way. To be more specific, a photo of the pop singer in a pink hoodie opting to eat a scrumptious burrito down the middle — instead of grubbing on either the front or back end — started floating across the web a few days ago. As you would expect, it became a contentious viral sensation. There was no shortage of debates about the matter. Even Chrissy Teigen and Chipotle weighed in her thoughts on the trending topic. But it turns out, we were all fooled. Apparently, the famous Bieber photo was completely faked. Now, the folks behind the fake photo explain how they got away with tricking the Internet.
In the video explaining how they made a contentious viral Internet sensation, the people over at Yes Theory admit the Justin Bieber photo was completely staged, and it involved a Justin Bieber lookalike. The video team admit that “engineering a story” was something they always wanted to do, and this doctored photo — in which the pop singer appears to be eating a burrito the way one would typically eat corn on the cob — was the way the Yes Theory team set out to fool the Internet and make a viral sensation completely out of thin air. They’ve never done something like it before, they say.
Now, faked controversies on the Internet are certainly not new. There are a variety of examples, including a few from prominent figures like Nathan Fielder and Jimmy Kimmel, which have taken the Internet by storm unwittingly, only for the egg to be on everyone’s else’s face. But it’s not easy to fool the Internet. Proper staging and planning were necessary in order to pull it off. That included making everything from the hair to the sunglasses to the wardrobe seem authentic. Long clothes were necessary to cover up the parts of the body littered with tattoos on Justin Bieber’s figure. Special consideration was made to the angle of the photo, as it was imperative to have it from the side in order to make it look like it actually Justin Bieber.
There were two attempts made to make the faux Justin Bieber antics go viral. One involved walking a grandma across the street, the other involved the now-infamously unorthodox way in which Justin Bieber chose to chow down on his burrito. It was slow going at first, apparently, as it didn’t become an Internet sensation overnight as the video team hoped. It wasn’t until the team went to certain subreddit channels that the picture began to take the web by storm. In true Internet fashion, the photo quickly began to blow up, creating several articles, headlines, talk show debates and more all in a matter of hours.
Check out the video explaining how the Justin Bieber burrito hoax went down below.
While there were some people who figured out the image was fake (the hair appears to be a giveaway), most of the Internet was ultimately fooled by the online antics, and the guys behind the prank ate the whole thing up like, well, the way the Justin Bieber imposter ate his burrito in an unconventional way. And it is yet another example of how the Internet was duped into believing something fake right in front of their eyes. What can you believe anymore?