A Facebook post from December 2015 from a guy called Pablo Reyes has been shared over 170,000 times, for good reason: it appears to predict the future. His predictions for 2016 that have already happened include the deaths of Prince, Muhammad Ali and Kimbo Slice, a terrible mass shooting and everyone freaking out about a gorilla. He also goes on to say that Hilary Clinton will be elected, and Donald Trump will die.
Of course, it’s actually all bullsh*t. But that hasn’t stopped thousands of people believing him, and leaving comments about his Nostradamus-style powers. People, y’know, people are idiots.
How did he do it? It’s pretty simple, actually. When you post a status, you can choose to back-date it, so that it appears to have been written in the far off past of 2015. So now you too can post something about, say, Leicester winning the Premier League or this unknown rapper called ‘Desiigner’ blowing up, and look like a soothsayer.
Reyes, the man behind the post, used to work at Huzlers, one of those fake news sites that sometimes see people sharing. Buzzfeed reached out to him, and he had this to say:
I feel like people — I don’t want to call people dumb — but I think it’s up to the people to kind of make the decisions about what they hear and what they’re being told.
They also asked him if he feels Facebook or the media in general should be doing more to stop misinformation like this being shared online.
It’s hard for me to explain to you how I feel about the situation, but I think I blame people I kind of feel like people are to blame.