Did a woman repeatedly fail to fill the gas tank in a funny viral clip?
Some of the most successful viral videos are those that have managed to capture the most ridiculous, unusual, or downright awkward behavior.
From bizarre noises to grandparents vaping to candid captures of public figures, these clips are often the most entertaining and viral content online.
This week alone, a viral video of a woman trying to gas up her car has garnered tens of millions of views in just two days. But was the meeting, filmed, a real misadventure, as some viewers seemed to believe?
A video posted on Twitter September 27, 2022, shows what appears to be a woman attempting to refuel her car at a gas station, continually failing to reach the tank.
Within two days, the video had over 18 million views on Twitter alone, as well as on Reddit and widely shared on Telegram.
There are a number of genuine viral videos that have captured unusual or outrageous behavior at gas stations, from dramatic altercations improvise political rants.
Whether it’s price spikes or even just fumes, it seems pumps can power more than just your car.
However, in the case of this most recent viral clip, which has already been viewed tens of millions of times in two days, the courtship drama appears to be little more than frivolity.
Reverse image search screenshots of the Twitter video revealed that it was posted to Facebook from the ‘Janelle & Kate’ account.
The clip, titled “someone has to help this girl”has been viewed over 37 million times since its publication on September 26, 2022.
The caption of the video reveals that it was “produced by Rick Lax Productions, Janelle & Kate”.
While “Rick Lax Productions” does not have its own Facebook page or website, Rick Lax is a viral content producer who regularly produces staged “prank” videos and other “short films”.
Lax, who has 14 million followers on Facebookrose to prominence on the internet by posting grotesque and bizarre recipe videos that looked like real cooking content.
“Janelle and Kate,” who uploaded the gas station video, are featured in a photo on Lax’s website, Network Media LLC, of which Lax identifies himself as the creator.
A 2021 article in Eaterwhich included an interview with Lax, states that many of the videos he helps produce include disclaimers stating that the videos are “scripted dramas, PARODY HACKS, parodies and satires”.
This most recent video may have been inspired by another clip shared online from 2020 of a woman filmed driving around a gas station trying to fill up her car.
The car in the gas pump clip is also in another Janelle and Kate video. At the beginning of the video “Mom receives the greatest gift of her life”, you can briefly see the license plate number of the car.
In the case of the video “produced by Rick Lax Productions”, while no disclaimer explicitly identifies it as a parody, its provenance, vanity, and the people behind its creations strongly indicate that it is made up.
And while a somewhat subjective judgement, the exaggerated gestures and posture of the woman in the clip, gives us an added degree of confidence that the content of the video is fictional.
Online content taken out of context or without a disclaimer, especially satire, is often confused with authenticity.
Recently, a quote attributed to Liz Cheney calling Donald Trump “cute Russian b***h” was shared on social media without noting that it was from a parody account on Twitter, leading some to believe it might have be real.
Newsweek has contacted Rick Lax for comment.
The video posted to Twitter is attributed, in part, to viral content producer Rick Lax, well known for creating “parodies” and “scripted dramas.” The original video, posted to Facebook, says it was produced by “Rick Lax Productions” although that credential does not appear elsewhere online, leading many to believe the scene in the footage is genuine.
FACT CHECK BY Newsweek’s Fact Checking Team