YouTuber admits aspects of viral HomePod glitter bomb video were faked

Posted:
in General Discussion
A viral video featuring a booby-trapped HomePod box that pranked package thieves with a glitter bomb has been criticized for faking some of the reactions of the would-be "thieves," who were in fact acquaintances of friends of the video's creator.

YouTuber Mark Rober with the HomePod glitter bomb trap
YouTuber Mark Rober with the HomePod glitter bomb trap


The video, "Package Thief vs. Glitter Bomb Trap" by former NASA engineer Mark Rober, featured the creation of a device constructed inside a HomePod box that spread out glitter once the HomePod box was opened, with four smartphones used to film the event and subsequent reactions from all angles. Clips were shown of people claimed to be package thieves, opening the box and being covered with glitter, before throwing the contraption away.

At the time of publication, the video has garnered close to 42 million views since its original publication on December 17.

The popularity of the YouTube film prompted investigations by other Internet users, reports Buzzfeed, with online sleuths noticing a number of issues with the video relating to the thieves, who reportedly stole the trap package from doorsteps. One thief's vehicle was found to have a number of similar features to one parked near to the house of a friend of Rober, used to film some of the illicit acquisitions, suggesting it was acquired by someone who lived nearby.





Another person used Google Street View and Zillow to analyze the third thief's video from inside her home, and determined the side yard and outdoor area bore a striking resemblance to the home next door to the friend's house. Posted to Imgur, the thread of evidence led to others questioning Rober on some of his later edits to the published video, including deletion of small sections and blurring out details.

According to Rober, he offered to provide the box to people who were willing to place it on their doorstep, with the offer of financial compensation for successful recoveries of the package, and one "friend of a friend" volunteered to help. Rober has since confirmed that two of the five reactions used in the video were suspicious, and were subsequently removed, but insists the reactions for times when the box was stolen from his doorstep were genuine.

"I'm especially gutted because so much thought, time, money, and effort went into building the device and I hope this doesn't just taint the entire effort as 'fake,'" writes Rober in text placed underneath the video. "It genuinely works (like all the other things I've built on my channel) and we've made all the code and build info public."

Rober ends the statement by apologizing for "putting something up on my channel that was misleading," adding he will be taking "all necessary steps to make sure it won't happen again."

The YouTube channel primarily consists of science-related content, including a number of items where things have been built by the engineer. Some of the notable constructions include a playing card-firing gun, a moving dart board that can force players to hit the bullseye, and a giant lemon battery assembly.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 39
    LOL being able to reacquire the glitterbomb each time it was “stolen” was the first clue.  

    Still it it was a great video.
    bloggerblogwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 39
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,399member
    That lying mother f*cker!   

    Indknt care are about the concept.  The problem is the satisfaction I felt seeing a-hole thrives getting glitter-bombed is now anger at being misled.  

    F*ck him.  Channel blocked.  Forever.  
    jahbladeStrangeDayswatto_cobradoozydozentyler82
  • Reply 3 of 39
    LOL being able to reacquire the glitterbomb each time it was “stolen” was the first clue.  

    Still it it was a great video.
    That was why it was designed with the fart spray. The "stink bomb" made people want to get rid of it.
    longpathStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 39
    Trust in TouTube prank videos shattered.  /s
    sandorauxiorobin huberchasmwatto_cobradoozydozen
  • Reply 5 of 39
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 1,017member
    No accountability whatsoever. The morals/integrity of this country are swirling in the toilet. 

    A simple apology accompanied with an, “I’ll take necessary steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again...”

    He apologizes for putting something up that was misleading. He fabricated the entire thing. It took planning and, therefore, intent. For what purpose? To get views on social media? He lied about all of it. Didn’t apologize for lying (bcoz that would mean accepting responsibility for his childish/embarrassing behavior. And he further shirks admitting & taking responsibility by “taking necessary steps...”. It’s subtle, but again, no direct acceptance of responsibility. What he could have said is “I willfully posted this video to my site (for whatever reason), and I won’t do it again.

    Some of you may think it’s a technicality, but something internally happens when one confronts their own behavior. He conveniently worded it so the blame is an extension (2nd person?) of him, therefore, no lesson learned. 
    tycho_macuserStrangeDayswatto_cobradoozydozentyler82
  • Reply 6 of 39
    sandorsandor Posts: 650member
    mac_dog said:
    No accountability whatsoever. The morals/integrity of this country are swirling in the toilet. 

    A simple apology accompanied with an, “I’ll take necessary steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again...”

    No, the morals & integrity are the same, we just are inundated with a 24 hour barrage of every "event" these days.

    Back in the day they just had to apologize to a smaller group of people, not the world at large.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 39
    The article says only 2 out of 5 are faked or staged. I think it's necessary to stage 1 or 2 (especially with his friends) to demonstrate how it works. Also if he actually uses real footages throughout the video, he may be in trouble even more.
    edited December 2018
  • Reply 8 of 39
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,517member
    The fact that people take YouTube videos as truth is pretty scary.  It's entertainment folks.  Get your truth from reliable news sources.  And even then, double check and question everything.
    maestro64sergiozchasm
  • Reply 9 of 39
    auxio said:
    The fact that people take YouTube videos as truth is pretty scary.  It's entertainment folks.  Get your truth from reliable news sources.  And even then, double check and question everything.
    We live in Topsy-Turvey World where respected organs of professional journalism are labeled “fake,” and even worse, a whole generation of otherwise smart people get all their information from from this word salad called the Internet. Here’s a hint kids, subscribe to an actual newspaper—you can even read it online! Professional journalism needs your support.
    chasmronn
  • Reply 10 of 39
    auxio said:
    The fact that people take YouTube videos as truth is pretty scary.  It's entertainment folks.  Get your truth from reliable news sources.  And even then, double check and question everything.

    While I agree there's a LOT of crap on YouTube, I have also found some really useful information. Especially the how-to videos. There are people who put significant effort into producing worthwhile content. Too bad most of the bandwidth goes to cat videos or videos like this one.
  • Reply 11 of 39
    What? Everything on YouTube isn’t real?  I can’t believe anyone producing a video like that would exaggerate, mislead, or lie to increase interest in their video. I want to say it’s “unpossible” but it’s impossible. /s
  • Reply 12 of 39
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 5,036member
    auxio said:
    The fact that people take YouTube videos as truth is pretty scary.  It's entertainment folks.  Get your truth from reliable news sources.  And even then, double check and question everything.
    Yep, it entertainment first and then maybe some factual information. If I had to venture a guess, i would say most YouTube videos are staged to the mere purpose of getting likes. Unless you're talking about Russia accident videos which show even pure stupidity will not always get you killed.

    You can tell there was some truth it but was it exactly as it look. Face it the guy ask friend to put it on their door step in hopes someone walked by and decided to take it. Yeah it happens but how often. The only packages I lost was due to the fact the UPS guys was too lazy to drive down my street and deposited my package at my neighbors house on the main street.
  • Reply 13 of 39
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 1,029member

    I hope this doesn't just taint the entire effort as 'fake,'" writes Rober in text placed underneath the video.

    Rober ends the statement by apologizing for "putting something up on my channel that was misleading," adding he will be taking "all necessary steps to make sure it won't happen again."

    Yeah, it does taint the entire thing. Credibility is now zero. And you lied to us once. How do we know you aren't lying again?
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 14 of 39
    sandorsandor Posts: 650member
    linkman said:

    I hope this doesn't just taint the entire effort as 'fake,'" writes Rober in text placed underneath the video.

    Rober ends the statement by apologizing for "putting something up on my channel that was misleading," adding he will be taking "all necessary steps to make sure it won't happen again."

    Yeah, it does taint the entire thing. Credibility is now zero. And you lied to us once. How do we know you aren't lying again?

    if it was in regards to his engineering, i may actually care. otherwise, the entertainment portion is nothing worse than what TV execs have been doing for decades upon decades.
  • Reply 15 of 39
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,517member
    auxio said:
    The fact that people take YouTube videos as truth is pretty scary.  It's entertainment folks.  Get your truth from reliable news sources.  And even then, double check and question everything.

    While I agree there's a LOT of crap on YouTube, I have also found some really useful information. Especially the how-to videos. There are people who put significant effort into producing worthwhile content. Too bad most of the bandwidth goes to cat videos or videos like this one.
    Oh, I agree.  There are some great instructional videos to be found on YouTube.  But the sensationalist style of this video made it pretty obvious that it was for entertainment and not instructional or informative purposes.
    edited December 2018
  • Reply 16 of 39
    It’s funny how some people can get so bent out of shape about something that really, doesn’t affect their day to day life whatsoever, like a silly YouTube video. Hilarious!  :D
    dedgeckoursuskeksoronn
  • Reply 17 of 39
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 1,076member
    As soon as I read the word “Youtuber”, my eyes glaze over and I click off the article. 
  • Reply 18 of 39
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 1,017member
    sandor said:
    mac_dog said:
    No accountability whatsoever. The morals/integrity of this country are swirling in the toilet. 

    A simple apology accompanied with an, “I’ll take necessary steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again...”

    No, the morals & integrity are the same, we just are inundated with a 24 hour barrage of every "event" these days.

    Back in the day they just had to apologize to a smaller group of people, not the world at large.

    I completely disagree. And his apology wasn’t really an apology. But we’ll have to agree to disagree. 
    edited December 2018
  • Reply 19 of 39
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,805unconfirmed, member
    Hey I just saw this video!

    Some of the acting was obvious. The only thing that had me believing it was the one where the cameras were covered since the thieves didn't fully open the box. This is something the director would have avoided.
  • Reply 20 of 39
    eriamjh said:
    That lying mother f*cker!   

    Indknt care are about the concept.  The problem is the satisfaction I felt seeing a-hole thrives getting glitter-bombed is now anger at being misled.  

    F*ck him.  Channel blocked.  Forever.  
    Not sure if serious... Phenomenal research and a quick apology with updated edit published to YT within 24 hours.

    If this gets your goose, dont step into the real world. 
    radarthekatronn
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