Avatar image for yoghurt
#1 Edited by Yoghurt (126 posts) -

The Polish members of GB probably know this story already, as it was all over the Internet and other media during the weekend, but I wanted to share this with the rest of GB community.

The video attached below is sadly only in Polish right now, so I'll try to briefly summarize what the hell is going on under it.

The story goes like that - two guys from one Polish PR company (they have an experience in virals and marketing campaigns) decided to do a little experiment regarding verbal agression and psychological torment, which as we all know, is commonplace on the Internet. So they've hired an oridinary older woman, taken from the list of movie extras(seen on the right of the embeded video). They gave her a simple role to play and she did it superbly, igniting a huge flame war under the youtube videos she published (in reality, the PR guys coordinated, uploaded and edited the whole thing).

Quick summary of the events: Anna, the actress in the dozen or so videos published on YouTube, took a role of Grazyna Zarko, a retired teacher with somewhat controversial personality - she advocated bodily punishment of the more rude school pupils (hitting fingers with the ruler, kneeling in the corner etc.) while also displaying very strict (some might say - very outdated) catholic views on the world. Needless to say, the huge part of Polish YouTube users were not amused - hundreds (if not thousands) of Vloggers bashed madam Grazyna (or so they thought), verbally abusing her views, her looks and everything she told. Some of them threatened her with death, others have shown their enormous intelligence with putting "kurwa" in every sentence, which is an universal curse word in polish and those with limited vocabulary use it instead of commas (it's closest equivalent is "fuck", but it can also mean "bitch", "whore" and anything the speaker likes, depending on the context). And that's only people talking to the camera, the YouTubers in the comment section were even more abusive (probably because they didn't have to show their face).

The whole affair wouldn't be so "popular", if there were no prominent Polish Vloggers involved. Some of the guys bashing madam Grazyna were the guys from gaming industry, with signed partnership with YouTube (read: they got money for views). As Grazyna was the new "fad" throughout their fanbases, they've decided to please them with abusive videos. I can't stress this fact enough - we're not talking about some 13 year old with a camera who uploads some fucking garbage on YouTube anyway, we're talking about adults, some of them with years of experience and a reputation to uphold, who make money based on views of their videos. And making fun of Grazyna was their way of earning even more cash. What's more, when she published her GaduGadu communicator (equivalent of AIM), the servers went down - so many people wanted to say, how much Grazyna sucks.

So, what happened in the end? Madam Anna, who played the role of Grazyna, came out and said - it was all fake. I'm not the person you think I am. Mainly, beacause the two guys behind this project were afraid that someone will finally spit on her or attack her directly when she'll be spotted on the street, and because madam Anna snapped - she tried to think positevely about the project, but when the death threats came in, she just cried.

When the whole thing was revealed, probalby every single fucker who abused the fake personality of Grazyna, felt stupid. And most of them apologized, but only some of them understood the message. What's more tragic, they've only apologized because Grazyna was fake and felt like complete morons - if the project was never revealed or, even worse, Grazyna was real, they would probably still feel fine.

Basically, the Polish part of YouTube userbase was trolled and never knew what hit it, and now it has to apologize. The "respected" vloggers' reputation fell so low in a matter of one weekend that it's almost funny to see how they're trying to limit the collateral damage. What's also funny is their fanbases, which were oh so happy with bashing madam Grazyna/Anna, are now cancelling their subscriptions. Probably, because they feel even more stupid than their idols. The news media and journalists are having a field day with this thing and those of Polish Internet users who didn't know about Grazyna existence untill the whole project ended (because they have better things to do than search for some new internet flame war) and those who just abstained from commenting and abusing that woman (because they have better things to do) are laughing their asses off. Myself included. Oh Internet, you never cease to amaze me.

Avatar image for justin258
#2 Posted by Justin258 (15590 posts) -

Youtube comments are one of the trashiest places on the internet. If they were ever completely set loose, then you would never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy on the internet.

In the meantime, these particular Youtube users have made a proper fool of themselves and it is indeed rather funny (though I imagine not to the woman, as she's feeling pretty down right now), but it's still sad to know that a week from now they'll be back to being the shit of the internet.

Avatar image for yoghurt
#3 Edited by Yoghurt (126 posts) -

@believer258: Well, even one week of humble comments (not all, but some of them) instead of the standard garbage and the utter destruction of credibility of some of the Polish "Oracles" and "Trendsetters" on YouTube is enough for me.

EDIT: On the side note, if anyone else is also concerned by the well being of madam Anna, who played the hate-generating role of Grazyna, there is already an online donation to give her some break and send her on a vacation: http://www.indiegogo.com/grazyna (English version lower on the page, under the Polish one). Although it was created by one of the most prominent Vloggers, who I personally can't stand, he'd never insulted Grazyna and even if he's aiming at more fame gain, It's still a pretty decent thing to do.

Avatar image for loafsmooch
#4 Posted by Loafsmooch (545 posts) -

Thanks for sharing.

Amazing how much hatred an old woman can get for her outdated (fake) opinions.. The scum of the internet is mainly what makes me lose faith in humanity.. Not wars, not religion, not dictators. Just the douchebag on the internet.

If people could just turn all their useless hatred into something productive or positive.. man..

Avatar image for jrad
#5 Posted by Jrad (638 posts) -

I don't see how her opinions being fabricated changes anything. The outrage directed at her misguided views was duly just. I'm pretty sure a lot of people make videos of themselves saying stupid shit and post it on the internet to get 'famous'. If someone's being an idiot, I expect the internet to call them out on it -- whether they're being an idiot as part of some grand social experiment or not, they're still being an idiot.

What this proved: people acting stupid can become famous. This is a lesson America has long since learned, judging by the success of reality TV. I don't think anyone who verbally abused the woman's views should be apologetic. .The fact that her views were fake changes nothing whatsoever. Making death threats is obviously going a little far, but thank the anonymity of the internet for that. Kids who play the guitar well get death threats. It's crazy people are backpedaling on this, really -- no apologies are owed.

Avatar image for petiew
#6 Edited by Petiew (1465 posts) -
@Jrad: Except the response to the misguided views (According to the first post) included threats of severe violence and death.
Calling someone out on their misguided views is good, threatening to kill them is not. 
Sadly the majority of comments in these situations are like these.
Avatar image for yoghurt
#7 Edited by Yoghurt (126 posts) -

@Jrad: But that was the whole point of the project, or so the 2 guys behind it claim. Their main goal (spoken in the first lines of the movie, but I get that this gibberish is only understandable to the small percent of GB community :)) was to show that every (or, let's say, most of) media content is doctored, faked or has something more in mind than just pure information - the guys who hired madam Anna told her just that: "We want to show people that the things they watch are not created for their gain, but for the creator's" (which kind of defeats their point if you think about it, as they've also gained some fame from this, but at least it was a non-profit action).

That's why most of the haters feel obliged to apologize, especially the proffesional YouTube content creators (because commenters are fucking stupid anyway, so nobody takes them serious), who must feel really foolish right now - they were getting money from trolling or pleasing a band of morons with their videos, and now they've got the same treatment they gave to the others. It won't help them much, but what other thing they could do?

Avatar image for brendan
#8 Posted by Brendan (9210 posts) -

This whole thing seems like a silly and obvious point to prove. Other than the supposed professionals who should have had more class it doesn't seem all that surprising that most people would aggressively disagree with a seemingly abhorrent person on a public forum.

Avatar image for loafsmooch
#9 Posted by Loafsmooch (545 posts) -

The thing is this is just another example of how bad people act on the internet. Nobody deserves being mentally thrashed by thousands just because they disagree. I understand that this is normal, but I'm just saying it shouldn't be. It's much easier to get someone to change their opinions by talking to them instead of saying "suck dick bitch, youre wrong!"

Avatar image for yoghurt
#10 Edited by Yoghurt (126 posts) -

@Brendan: Of course it's not surprising, only those who had their router installed yesterday would be surprised by this. But I am truly amazed how this one specific action, and this particular (fake or not) person gained so much attention just by presenting her not-so-popular views. Internet is full of such people, but the snowball effect one old lady started and the fallout the whole thing generated after it ended is a thing of beauty for those not involved in the whole affair. The amount of backlash it created is really spectacular, at least in the Polish part of the Internet.

Avatar image for ravenlight
#11 Posted by Ravenlight (8057 posts) -

This story is why the internet is great and why it is the worst thing, all at once. Well-played, PR dudes.

Avatar image for taliciadragonsong
#12 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8734 posts) -

If you make money of youtube videos, especially ones in which you insult other human beings, you deserve to be shot in my opinion.
Waste of megabytes.

Avatar image for envane
#13 Posted by envane (1271 posts) -

polish internet lol thats rich

but yeah .. people are evil until proven otherwise

Avatar image for crosstheatlantic
#14 Posted by CrossTheAtlantic (1154 posts) -

@Petiew said:

@Jrad: Except the response to the misguided views (According to the first post) included threats of severe violence and death. Calling someone out on their misguided views is good, threatening to kill them is not. Sadly the majority of comments in these situations are like these.

*sighs and packs away pitchforks and torches*

Avatar image for thedudeofgaming
#15 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6116 posts) -

People just love to let the inner asshole run around wild on the internet. I thought this was common knowledge.

Avatar image for sockemjetpack
#16 Posted by SockemJetpack (438 posts) -

Thanks for the cogent sum-up! It's scary what anonymity and mob mentality can do to people.

More importantly though I learned a super swear word today. Kurwa! It means whatever I want it to mean.

So at the end of the day I say kurwa those kurwas in their kurwa-ing kurwa holes.

Avatar image for yoghurt
#17 Posted by Yoghurt (126 posts) -

@SockemJetpack: Well, due to ridiculous (at least for english speakers) inflection in Polish, it's not so easy as you said it, but nonetheless, if you had some Polish speakers around, they would congratulate you for knowing it ("Kurwa" is probably the first word any foreign guest learns in Poland :))

Avatar image for galacticpunt
#18 Posted by GalacticPunt (1509 posts) -

So the Polish marketers' master plan was to reveal that if you present something as real, people will think it's real? That people will overreact? Hmmm, that's been done many times before in more dramatic ways.

Particularly Orson Welles "War of the Worlds" radio play, which was formatted like a real newscast. Many rural people committed suicide, because they were convinced aliens had really conquered the major cities, and were coming for them next. Did anyone actually die from this Polish stunt? No? Then Orson Welles wins again!

Avatar image for yoghurt
#19 Posted by Yoghurt (126 posts) -

@GalacticPunt: well, a part of me died inside because of the whole affair. Does it count?

Avatar image for nlghtcrawler
#20 Posted by NlGHTCRAWLER (1219 posts) -

Youtube video comments are the worst.

Avatar image for ld50
#21 Posted by LD50 (430 posts) -

@GalacticPunt said:

So the Polish marketers' master plan was to reveal that if you present something as real, people will think it's real? That people will overreact? Hmmm, that's been done many times before in more dramatic ways.

Particularly Orson Welles "War of the Worlds" radio play, which was formatted like a real newscast. Many rural people committed suicide, because they were convinced aliens had really conquered the major cities, and were coming for them next. Did anyone actually die from this Polish stunt? No? Then Orson Welles wins again!

There was a television show in England in 92 that did something similar to the "war of the worlds" hoax. It was a Halloween show that presented itself as live television, and did a descent job of pulling it off. Unfortunately, someone killed themselves afterward because he thought ghost were real and in his house. Thus, the show was banned for ten years. Ghostwatch was the name of it. I've watched it and thought it was pretty interesting.