What is the scariest possible outcome of Google’s involvement in your life? That they track your whereabouts and send them to the NSA? That they don’t care about user experience and only send you ads? Those are bush league compared to this: What if, without you ever knowing it, Google had crafted all the greatest viral trends on the internet on purpose?
What if they weren’t just videos, created by average Joes and loved by many, but an elaborate ruse planned and produced by YouTube, in a sort of modern-day, inverted Truman Show?
That’s the central thesis of today’s YouTube April Fools’ prank.
The company posted a video to its blog announcing that for the first time ever, YouTube would let the public help decide the viral video trends in 2014.
The suggestion here is that every viral video you’ve ever known or loved, like Gangnam Style, Rebecca Black, or Charlie Bit My Finger, was created, produced and distributed by YouTube itself.
This year, Google already has some fun viral trends in store for us, such as Clocking (where you use your arms to show the time of day). Clocking producer Per De Graff believes “it’s going to be even bigger than planking.”
YouTube is also introducing “Finish Lining,” which is when you set up a ribbon for your friend and let them break through it like at the end of a race, or “Butter Failing,” which is when you ruin your bread by trying to spread cold butter on it.
The best is baby shaming.
“This dumb baby can’t read,” says one of the stars. “I have to take care of it all the time.”
You’ll also find lots of new videos centering around “Bun Nutting” (feeding a nut to someone’s up-do) and “Kissing Dad” (where you kiss your dad?).
It’s all very bizarre, but the video is hilarious.
Welcome to a great way to start your April Fools’ Day.