Yes, the ISIS/Israeli flag video from Berkeley was widely presented as an experiment

[Give this article a few seconds to load; the embedded Facebook posts take a little while.]

Coupla days ago, I published a short post exhorting you all to stop sharing the Berkeley ISIS-Israeli flag video. One of my arguments against the way that video has been presented began, “Even with [unedited] footage, this would still be nothing resembling a controlled experiment.”

A few of you pushed back against my allegation that many of those who shared the original video treated it as some sort of experiment. In short, you claimed that I constructed a straw man: an imaginary person who watched the video and then shared it under the premise that it was an experiment. So as not to call out anyone I know — I’ll just quote a comment someone left on this very blog:

I do not believe that the video clip was done as a controlled experiment. Hardly any online videos are such experiments.

I’m glad that reader wasn’t fooled into thinking it was an experiment, but not everyone got the memo. Presented with hardly any further comment:

And again, I chose not to share any statuses posted by my friends in which the video is explicitly referred to as an experiment (but you know who you are).

I also couldn’t help but notice that many of the accounts that described the video as an ‘experiment’ were crazy right-wing fucknuts (for example, that last post shared an article from The Blaze, Glenn Beck’s website), and I suppose it isn’t really fair to expect them to keep track of whether something is an experiment or propaganda — after all, they’re not scientists.


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