NASA is making great strides at learning and explaining the complexities of not just the planets in our celestial backyard, but also the makeup of our galaxy and the universe as a whole. They’re always on the lookout for signs of life outside of Earth, and with dozens of exoplanets that could host said life, they’ve got some interesting leads. About a week ago, a video surfaced on YouTube claiming that NASA was about to reveal the first hard evidence of alien life, and what happened next is probably going to make you hate the internet even more than you already do. 

The video, which was uploaded by someone calling themselves “Anonymous Global,” is just a bunch of stock footage and an intentionally obscured voice claiming that NASA had found alien life and was going to announce it soon. It’s in the classic “dude in Guy Fawkes mask reads paper at camera” style that many “Anonymous” videos cling to for effect, but there’s really nothing here but a bunch of nonsense. In fact, the person in the video reading the paper doesn’t even appear to be speaking the words heard in the clip, and it’s likely just a looped clip of a previous video being reused for the umpteenth time.

But this is the internet, which means someone is going to share it, others are going to watch it, and someone is going to believe it. The entire thing began to snowball, hitting sites like Daily Mail and eventually even Newsweek, crediting “Anonymous” with having evidence that NASA is poised to reveal the discovery of aliens, with absolutely nothing in the realm of reality to back it up.

Setting aside the obvious issues with various news outlets referring to Anonymous as a “group” — when in reality the entire concept of Anonymous is that there is no structure or members in the traditional sense, period — the video is very clearly nothing more than an attempt to generate some ad revenue. Ads play in the middle of the video as well as the beginning, which is hilarious, and since the video has now gained over one million clicks, it’s probably making a decent chunk of change. Mission accomplished?

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