Last night, a weekend news show hosted by Beat Takeshi covered the dangers of internet addiction. To illustrate that, the program, called Jouhou 7 Days News Caster, showed a clip from the infamous Angry German Kid video.
For proper context, you can see the whole segment below, which is on "internet dependence." Note the ominous narration and how the Angry German Kid is used to introduce the topic.
The show did not appear to use the Angry German Kid ironically—or knowingly. This is scare tactics. Really stupid scare tactics.
The rest of the clip features an interview with young people, who talk about their internet and smartphone use, as well as a doctor. There's a bit with an online gamer, too.
A couple things! First, the most obvious: the Angry German Kid video is very old. If you are new to the internet and have never seen it, you can watch the translated version from 2007 below:
This is a very famous video. And the kid in it admitted that it was all staged. It's become a meme in the West—as well as in Japan, where people also know it's staged. Popular Japanese site NicoNico clearly states the the kid in the video said this was all a performance (本人によると全て演技だとの事). Research!
No wonder that Japanese forum and Twitter users are calling out the show for including the fake footage. Japanese Twitter user @ChihayaSta wrote, "The mainstream media is like, 'Net dependence is scary!' Internet users are like, 'This meme is so old.'"
Twitter users—like @futa_kano (top photo), minathuki1216, sugisarishiomoi, and zuckey_0919—uploaded photos of the Angry German Kid's television appearance—probably because it was such as surprising and odd thing to see.
Others pointed out that using faked footage undermines the seriousness of addiction and equated it to madness. It all seems disingenuous. Then, there were the Japanese Twitter users laughing at the show for featuring this phoney clip.
But, for the sake of argument, let's concede that addiction is a big problem—whatever that addiction is. But as commenters on 2ch, Japan's largest online forum, pointed out that it seems like "net dependence" is looked down upon by the mainstream media, but television dependence gets a free pass. Funny that, no?
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