- 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.
Schools Across the U.S. Cancel Classes Friday Over Unverified TikTok Threat
Officials in multiple states said they haven’t found any credible threats but are taking additional precautions out of an abundance of safety.
Schools in no fewer than 10 states either canceled classes or increased their police presence on Friday after a series of TikToks warned of imminent shooting and bombs threats.
Despite that, officials said they found little evidence to suggest the threats are credible. It’s possible no real threat was actually ever made as it’s unclear if the supposed threats originated on TikTok, another social media platform, or elsewhere.
“We handle even rumored threats with utmost seriousness, which is why we’re working with law enforcement to look into warnings about potential violence at schools even though we have not found evidence of such threats originating or spreading via TikTok,” TikTok’s Communications team tweeted Thursday afternoon.
Still, given the uptick of school shootings in the U.S. in recent years, many school districts across the country decided to respond to the rumors. According to The Verge, some districts in California, Minnesota, Missouri, and Texas shut down Friday.
“Based on law enforcement interviews, Little Falls Community Schools was specifically identified in a TikTok post related to this threat,” one school district in Minnesota said in a letter Thursday. “In conversations with local law enforcement, the origins of this threat remain unknown. Therefore, school throughout the district is canceled tomorrow, Friday, December 17.”
In Gilroy, California, one high school that closed its doors Friday said it would reschedule final exams that were expected to take place the same day to January.
According to the Associated Press, several other districts in Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Montana, New York, and Pennsylvania stationed more police officers at their schools Friday.
Viral Misinformation or Legitimate Warnings?
As The Verge notes, “The reports of threats on TikTok may be self-perpetuating.”
For example, many of the videos online may have been created in response to initial warnings as more people hopped onto the trend. Amid school cancellations, videos have continued to sprout up — many awash with both rumors and factual information.
“I’m scared off my ass, what do I do???” one TikTok user said in a now-deleted video, according to People.
“The post is vague and not directed at a specific school, and is circulating around school districts across the country,” Chicago Public Schools said in a letter, though it did not identify any specific post. “Please do not re-share any suspicious or concerning posts on social media.”
According to Dr. Amy Klinger, the director of programs for the nonprofit Educator’s School Safety Network, “This is not 2021 phenomenon.”
Instead, she told The Today Show that her network has been tracking school shooting threats since 2013, and she noted that in recent years, they’ve become more prominent on social media.
“It’s not just somebody in a classroom of 15 people hearing someone make a threat,” she said. “It’s 15,000 people on social media, because it gets passed around and it becomes larger and larger and larger.”
Jake Paul Says He “Can’t Get Cancelled” as a Boxer
The controversial YouTuber opened up about what it has been like to go from online fame to professional boxing.
The New Yorker Profiles Jake Paul
YouTuber and boxer Jake Paul talked about his career switch, reputation, and cancel culture in a profile published Monday in The New Yorker.
While Paul rose to fame as the Internet’s troublemaker, he now spends most of his time in the ring. He told the outlet that one difference between YouTube and boxing is that his often controversial reputation lends better to his new career.
“One thing that is great about being a fighter is, like, you can’t get cancelled,” Paul said. The profile noted that the sport often rewards and even encourages some degree of bad behavior.
“I’m not a saint,” Paul later continued. “I’m also not a bad guy, but I can very easily play the role.”
Paul also said the other difference between his time online and his time in boxing is the level of work. While he says he trains hard, he confessed that there was something more challenging about making regular YouTube content.
“Being an influencer was almost harder than being a boxer,” he told The New Yorker. “You wake up in the morning and you’re, like, Damn, I have to create fifteen minutes of amazing content, and I have twelve hours of sunlight.”
Jake Paul Vs. Tommy Fury
The New Yorker profile came just after it was announced over the weekend Paul will be fighting boxer Tommy Fury in an 8-round cruiserweight fight on Showtime in December.
“It’s time to kiss ur last name and ur family’s boxing legacy goodbye,” Paul tweeted. “DEC 18th I’m changing this wankers name to Tommy Fumbles and celebrating with Tom Brady.”
Both Paul and Fury are undefeated, according to ESPN. Like Paul, Fury has found fame outside of the sport. He has become a reality TV star in the U.K. after appearing on the hit show “Love Island.”
See what others are saying: (The New Yorker) (Dexerto) (ESPN)
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.