World

Fake road rage against cyclists creates real anger in New Zealand

An online video rant of a driver screaming at and threatening to kill a group of cyclists near Taupo, New Zealand appears to have been overdubbed by an actress as a deliberate fake to attract viewers.

Police are now considering taking action against the up-loader.

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Road rage video lands NZ woman in hot water

A video of a driver heard screaming and threatening to kill a group of cyclists appears to have been dubbed in a deliberate bid to attract viewers.

Cyclist Wayne Attwell was one of the cyclists featured in the video and was told by police they had tracked the YouTube video uploader to a Wellington address. 

The video was uploaded by someone with the user name Samanthapants and claiming to be Samantha Brown.

Attwell had contacted police after seeing the viral video filmed from a car following Attwell and friends riding in a group and featuring a woman apparently incensed by them yelling threats and obscenities.

One of the cyclists had a camera on his helmet which had captured footage of passing cars, including one which the Youtuber appeared to be filming from, and passed it to police as they were concerned by the behaviour.

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Attwell said police told him they had spoken to a man over the video. 

"It's a hoax. It was a guy who produces viral videos for a living and gets paid per click," Attwell said police told him.

The police told him it was an actress's voice which was later dubbed over the footage filmed from a car.

A series of profanities was strewn through it, including several threats to kill the cyclists.

"Oh you silly f***, I am going to run you over," the woman says.

The threats continued. "Surprise mother f****r, it's my car door... Don't f***ing test me if you aren't prepared to f***ing die."

Attwell was angry at the possibility someone had appeared to go to such lengths to incite anger against cyclists. 

"I'm fuming, man."

"I have talked to cyclists around the traps and it has scared the bejesus out of them. I can't believe there is someone who would do this all for a money making scam."

"The police are taking it pretty seriously."

Waikato Road Policing Manager, Inspector Freda Grace confirmed inquiries were being undertaken.

"Although he won't be charged in terms of offending under the Land Transport Act, our prosecutors are looking into other areas to see if offending has occurred," Grace said.

"I'm disappointed that someone would upload a video with that level of aggression against legitimate road users purely for entertainment purposes."

"We only have one roading network, we all need to use it."

Email requests for comment to a person who contacted Fairfax Media claiming to be Samantha Brown went unanswered.

However, we should expect more of this type of video, Waikato University's marketing department senior lecturer Mark Kilgour said.

Content marketing was the current catchphrase, he said.

That was where corporations would align advertisements with videos that were uploaded by a user with a lot of followers or videos that had a lot of views.

The best way to get followers was to create videos that went viral, he said. 

"Videos that get exposure either break a taboo, have sexual imagery or are outrageous," Kilgour commented.

"Outrageous videos are getting more shares in the consumer-to-consumer environment of social media."

Stuff, NZ

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