- YouTubers Josh Pieters and Archie Manners tricked Carole Baskin, a subject in Netflix’s “Tiger King,” into giving her first-ever interview since the show ended by pretending to be late-night host Jimmy Fallon.
- Baskin agreed to the interview after being promised that Fallon would focus on big cats, rather than the show or suggestions that she might have played a role in her husband’s disappearance.
- Pieters and Manners then used audio clips of Fallon from previous shows to conduct the interview, telling Baskin that she would only be able to hear the host because of their remote taping format.
- Baskin later called it a “fun prank” that gave a “good laugh” and said she appreciated that their stunt was not mean spirited.
How Pieters and Manners Tricked Carole Baskin
Exotic-cat activist Carole Baskin has given her first official interview since the release of Netflix’s hit show “Tiger King.” But while Baskin thought she was speaking with late-night host Jimmy Fallon, she had actually be duped into the video call for a YouTube video by Josh Pieters and Archie Manners.
“Tiger King” has been one of the most talked-about shows on the internet since the start of coronavirus lockdowns; however, Baskin has refused to speak to reporters about the series after it suggested that she may have been involved in her husband’s disappearance. That, in turn, has prompted a ton of hate and threats against her as many believe that she may have killed her husband.
So how did Pieters and Manners secure the interview? Well, the two have been taping a series for their channel where they trick celebrities into thinking they’re being interviewed on a late-night show through Zoom calls.
In previous episodes of this series, the two managed to get ahold of British singer-songwriter Craig David, TikToker Holly H, and “Love Island” couple Molly-Mae and Tommy Fury by pretending to be James Cordon.
To the guests they’ve invited on, the video interviews didn’t seem too out of the ordinary given the fact that so many hosts have been filming their shows from home during the coronavirus pandemic.
So to pull off this latest stunt, the two reached out to Baskin to extend the misleading invitation. Baskin and her team rejected the offer twice, but Baskin changed her mind after her daughter convinced her to reconsider. She also agreed to participate on the condition that “Fallon” focus on the cats and not ask about Netflix or the show.
When speaking with Baskin to coordinate the interview, Manners pretended to be a producer for the show. On the big day, he explained that because of this new remote taping format, Baskin wouldn’t actually be able to see Fallon, only hear him.
Their prank could’ve been much meaner, but the two actually ended up using Fallon’s audio clips to ask her pretty general questions, like how she’s been handling stay-at-home orders.
She talked about continuing to work hard for the tigers and her organization, Big Cat Rescue, as well as how the loss of tourism has hurt the staff at her tiger sanctuary. They also gave her some time to talk about the Big Cat Safety Act, a law she’s been championing to end the abuse of big cats by private owners.
“Hey all you cool cats and kittens, there is something you can do to end the abuse of big cats and to save them in the wild and that’s to make the call of the wild,” she said before offering up a number people could text to let their member of congress know they supported the act. “And if you don’t live in the U.S. what you can do is never pay to see a cub or pet a cub.”
After the call, she even sent over some exclusive photos and videos that they could use during her segment.
Baskin Responds in Good Spirits
It seems like Baskin wasn’t actually too upset about being duped once she learned that it was all for a YouTube video. She even commented below the upload, noting that she was a little suspicious when it was all going down.
Baskin copy and pasted an email she sent to her husband and daughter after the call, with it saying: “Well that was weird. I couldn’t see Fallon during the interview, and when they had his voice on the questions they didn’t sound like it was specific to the topic. He’d just say things they could have recorded from any other interview; like ‘What are you doing during quarantine?;”
She even noted that Fallon’s sign off struck her as odd, writing, “At the end he said, “Miss you buddy.” so that really didn’t sound like it was live to me. They did stick to the questions they gave us, so I just can’t tell.“
“This whole thing may have been a spoof and they said they won’t broadcast till next week, and will let us know before they do, but I’m not holding my breath,” she added.
Baskin then released a statement Sunday, after the video was released, clarifying that she wasn’t angry at all.
“I was suspicious as we were doing it because the questions appeared taped. But had no idea it would turn out to be such a fun prank. It gave us a very welcome good laugh.”
“I appreciate their cleverness and that they created their video in a way that I don’t feel was in any way mean spirited,” Baskin’s statement added.
This definitely wasn’t the first stunt Pieters and Manners have managed to pull off together. They’ve previously fooled people with an Ed Sheeran look-alike, sold microwaved meals on Deliveroo, tricked influencers into promoting gravel, and even presented far-right commentator Katie Hopkins with a fake award.
Hackers Hit Twitch Again, This Time Replacing Backgrounds With Image of Jeff Bezos
The hack appears to be a form of trolling, though it’s possible that the infiltrators were able to uncover a security flaw while reviewing Twitch’s newly-leaked source code.
Hackers targeted Twitch for a second time this week, but rather than leaking sensitive information, the infiltrators chose to deface the platform on Friday by swapping multiple background images with a photo of former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
According to those who saw the replaced images firsthand, the hack appears to have mostly — and possibly only — affected game directory headers. Though the incident appears to be nothing more than a surface-level prank, as Amazon owns Twitch, it could potentially signal greater security flaws.
For example, it’s possible the hackers could have used leaked internal security data from earlier this week to discover a network vulnerability and sneak into the platform.
The latest jab at the platforms came after Twitch assured its users it has seen “no indication” that their login credentials were stolen during the first hack. Still, concerns have remained regarding the potential for others to now spot cracks in Twitch’s security systems.
It’s also possible the Bezos hack resulted from what’s known as “cache poisoning,” which, in this case, would refer to a more limited form of hacking that allowed the infiltrators to manipulate similar images all at once. If true, the hackers likely would not have been able to access Twitch’s back end.
The photo changes only lasted several hours before being returned to their previous conditions.
First Twitch Hack
Despite suspicions and concerns, it’s unclear whether the Bezos hack is related to the major leak of Twitch’s internal data that was posted to 4chan on Wednesday.
That leak exposed Twitch’s full source code — including its security tools — as well as data on how much Twitch has individually paid every single streamer on the platform since August 2019.
It also revealed Amazon’s at least partially developed plans for a cloud-based gaming library, codenamed Vapor, which would directly compete with the massively popular library known as Steam.
Even though Twitch has said its login credentials appear to be secure, it announced Thursday that it has reset all stream keys “out of an abundance of caution.” Users are still being urged to change their passwords and update or implement two-factor authentication if they haven’t already.
Twitch Blames Server Configuration Error for Hack, Says There’s No Indication That Login Info Leaked
The platform also said full credit card numbers were not reaped by hackers, as that data is stored externally.
Login and Credit Card Info Secure
Twitch released a security update late Wednesday claiming it had seen “no indication” that users’ login credentials were stolen by hackers who leaked the entire platform’s source code earlier in the day.
“Full credit card numbers are not stored by Twitch, so full credit card numbers were not exposed,” the company added in its announcement.
The leaked data, uploaded to 4chan, includes code related to the platform’s security tools, as well as exact totals of how much it has individually paid every single streamer on the platform since August 2019.
Early Thursday, Twitch also announced that it has now reset all stream keys “out of an abundance of caution.” Streamers looking for their new keys can visit a dashboard set up by the platform, though users may need to manually update their software with the new key before being able to stream again depending on what kind of software they use.
As far as what led to the hackers being able to steal the data, Twitch blamed an error in a “server configuration change that was subsequently accessed by a malicious third party,” confirming that the leak was not the work of a current employee who used internal tools.
Will Users Go to Other Streaming Platforms?
While no major creators have said they are leaving Twitch for a different streaming platform because of the hack, many small users have either announced their intention to leave Twitch or have said they are considering such a move.
It’s unclear if the leak, coupled with other ongoing Twitch controversies, will ultimately lead to a significant user exodus, but there’s little doubt that other platforms are ready and willing to leverage this hack in the hopes of attracting new users.
At least one big-name streamer has already done as much, even if largely only presenting the idea as a playful jab rather than with serious intention.
“Pretty crazy day today,” YouTube’s Valkyrae said on a stream Wednesday while referencing a tweet she wrote earlier the day.
“YouTube is looking to sign more streamers,” that tweet reads.
“I mean, they are! … No shade to Twitch… Ah! Well…” Valkyrae said on stream before interrupting herself to note that she was not being paid by YouTube to make her comments.
The Entirety of Twitch Has Been Leaked Online, Including How Much Top Creators Earn
The data dump, which could be useful for some of Twitch’s biggest competitors, could signify one of the most encompassing platform leaks ever.
Massive Collection of Data Leaked
Twitch’s full source code was uploaded to 4chan Wednesday morning after it was obtained by hackers.
Among the 125 GB of stolen data is information revealing that Amazon, which owns Twitch, has at least partially developed plans for a cloud-based gaming library. That library, codenamed Vapor, would directly compete with the massively popular library known as Steam.
With Amazon being the all-encompassing giant that it is, it’s not too surprising that it would try to develop a Steam rival, but it’s eyecatching news nonetheless considering how much the release of Vapor could shake up the market.
The leaked data also showcased exactly how much Twitch has paid its creators, including the platform’s top accounts, such as the group CriticalRole, as well as steamers xQcOW, Tfue, Ludwig, Moistcr1tikal, Shroud, HasanAbi, Sykkuno, Pokimane, Ninja, and Amouranth.
These figures only represent payouts directly from Twitch. Each creator mentioned has made additional money through donations, sponsorships, and other off-platform ventures. Sill, the information could be massively useful for competitors like YouTube Gaming, which is shelling out big bucks to ink deals with creators.
Data related to Twitch’s internal security tools, as well as code related to software development kits and its use of Amazon Web Services, was also released with the hack. In fact, so much data was made public that it could constitute one of the most encompassing platform dumps ever.
Streamer CDawgVA, who has just under 500,000 subscribers on Twitch, tweeted about the severity of the data breach on Wednesday.
“I feel like calling what Twitch just experienced as “leak” is similar to me shitting myself in public and trying to call it a minor inconvenience,” he wrote. “It really doesn’t do the situation justice.”
Despite that, many of the platform’s top streamers have been quite casual about the situation.
“Hey, @twitch EXPLAIN?”xQc tweeted. Amouranth replied with a laughing emoji and the text, “This is our version of the Pandora papers.”
Meanwhile, Pokimane tweeted, “at least people can’t over-exaggerate me ‘making millions a month off my viewers’ anymore.”
Others, such as Moistcr1tikal and HasanAbi argued that their Twitch earning are already public information given that they can be easily determined with simple calculations.
Could More Data Come Out?
This may not be the end of the leak, which was labeled as “part one.” If true, there’s no reason to think that the leakers wouldn’t publish a part two.
For example, they don’t seem to be too fond of Twitch and said they hope this data dump “foster[s] more disruption and competition in the online video streaming space.”
They added that the platform is a “disgusting toxic cesspool” and included the hashtag #DoBetterTwitch, which has been used in recent weeks to drive boycotts against the platform as smaller creators protest the ease at which trolls can use bots to spam their chats with racist, sexist, and homophobic messages.
Still, this leak does appear to lack one notable set of data: password and address information of Twitch users.
That doesn’t necessarily mean the leakers don’t have it. It could just mean they are only currently interested in sharing Twitch’s big secrets.
Regardless, Twitch users and creators are being strongly urged to change their passwords as soon as possible and enable two-factor authentication.