In a world of special effects, YouTube, green screens, free and editing video and audio editing, it’s very difficult to determine if what you’re viewing is real or digitally enhanced.  There was a time when it was easy.  Very amateurish Photoshopped head on someone else’s body is very easy to determine.

When it’s done, it can be done very nicely.

For this holiday season, Martina McBride and Elvis Presley team up to do a duet of Presley’s Blue Christmas.  You can view it here.  YouTube has a request to remove the embed code and so I won’t work around these and will honour the request.  Through editing, we can enjoy this video with two incredibly powerful voices. What an awesome use of the technology.  Wouldn’t it have been great had they been able to collaborate live?

Then, this week, we read of this sickening story.  This story is being carried and repeated by many news agencies.

Whenever something like this happens, it’s always a tragedy and a life lost.  But, the details are all the more nauseating.  That others were watching and did nothing invokes strong emotion.  But given our YouTube reality, can you always believe what you see?  Therein lies the heart of this.  Rather than picking up the phone and calling emergency services, viewers thought that they were watching a staged act.

So, this is the negative side of quick and easy broadcasting.  As an internet consumer, have we become too complacent and too accepting of things?

Is there a society lesson to be learned from this?

It’s easy to place blame, but what would you do?

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