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Hoax video of Michael Jackson creates online stir

A hoax video purportedly showing Michael Jackson emerging from a coroner’s van was an experiment aimed at showing how quickly misinformation and conspiracy theories can race across the Internet, German broadcaster RTL said.

world Updated: Sep 02, 2009 09:59 IST

A hoax video purportedly showing Michael Jackson emerging from a coroner’s van was an experiment aimed at showing how quickly misinformation and conspiracy theories can race across the Internet, German broadcaster RTL said on Wednesday.

The video was posted by RTL on YouTube for a single day a week ago and received 880,000 hits. The broadcaster has since removed the video from YouTube, but it has been picked up by other Web sites around the world.

“We wanted to show how easily users can be manipulated on the Internet with hoax videos,” spokesman Heike Schultz of Cologne-based RTL told The Associated Press.

“Therefore, we created this video of Michael Jackson being alive, even though everybody knows by now that he is dead, and the response was breathtaking.”

Jackson died on June 25 in Los Angeles.

The video -- posted under an “anonymous source” -- shows a coroner’s van entering what seems like a parking garage and the King of Pop getting out of the back with another person.

The lighting is bad, the sound muffled and the footage appears amateurish.

“Unfortunately, many people believed it was true,” Schultz said.