I received the following text and video from several sources over both WhatsApp and Facebook:
Filmación de rescatistas israelíes en Tailandia al mando del capitán Lior Besalu !! Aprecien la dificultadad paea ingresar y después salir con estos niños !! De los ochos israelíes tres son los que ingresaron en la cueva !!
La prensa no menciona nada de israelíes!! Hubo un protocolo de silencio en Tailandia para no revelar nacionalidades ya que lo más importante es rescatar a los niños!!
Which roughly translates to:
Film of the Israeli rescuers in Thailand under the command of Captain Lior Besalu! Appreciate the difficulty to enter and the exit with the kids!
The press does not mention anything about Israelis! There was a protocol of silence in Thailand in order to not reveal the nationalities size the most important is to rescue the children.
The original text in Spanish contains typos, poor grammar, and poor punctuation. It is of course about the recent ordeal in Thailand. It is written as if someone had carelessly typed it on a phone.
Like the people who sent this to me, I would love for this beautiful tale of Israeli heroism to be true. But the whole thing smelled strongly of BS.
- No sources, no credits
- Clothing doesn’t match that from videos coming from trustworthy sources
- The video is silent
- It has a watermark “The Dudley”… what is that?
- If you watch closely, you will see a partially credit at the end: “A Caver Keith Pr…” which is cut short by shoddy editing.
If the information is true, surely it can easily be found somewhere on the Internet. A quick Google search for “Lior Besalu” reveals…
… a bunch of websites regurgitating the same exact snippet. Coincidence? No. Google is actually indexing the same tweet attached to all these articles through some automatic keyword based search.
This is, I believe, the original tweet:
And surprise… the first reply by the author apologizes for the video being unrelated.
Don’t keep reading replies unless you want to see stomach-turning antisemitism at its best!
It took me ten minutes to find the source of the video.
The people who sent me this are educated and trustworthy people that I respect. Yet the information is shared as-is without regard to its veracity. It takes one minute and a bit of common sense to verify things like this and stop the spread of misinformation, yet people don’t do it because they liked or agreed with the content in the first place so it must be true, right?
The tweet is less than 12 hours old and has already spread like wildfire. It’s all over Facebook too.
We know the video is completely bogus. We don’t know if the information is true but it probably isn’t. Does “Lior Besalu” even exist?
This flaw in human nature is easily exploitable, and has in fact been exploited in recent past. I won’t go into that. Just please confirm shit you see on Facebook, Tweeter, or WhatsApp before you share it, ok?
Update July 11, 2018: Fixed wording. Here’s a video from CNN talking about technology from an Israeli company used in the rescue. Thanks Elias! CNN, believe it or now, is a trustworthy source.