I’ll admit, I was on the fence about addressing this at all. Part of what I have to say about this video is ‘the more attention we bring to it, the more damage it can do.’ So, in writing post, I am being a hypocrite.
Here is the original story: On Tuesday, LiveLeak published a video of what appeared to be a drone crashing into the wing of a Southwest Airlines plane and breaking off the tip of the wing. It was quickly debunked as a fake, and the creator has since posted a ‘making of’ video to ensure the internet a drone didn’t actually crash into a plane.
Below is the original video followed by the explanation.
I understand this guy, Bruce Branit probably didn’t mean for the video to cause much of a stir, but this is exactly the kind of ammunition drone detractors could rally behind. It doesn’t matter how real it is.
If you are still here and want to read my reaction to these videos, allow me to rant for a second.
Incidents like this, not drone crashes specifically, but naturally viral headlines are part of an issue I, a perfectly objective Bostonian, am dubbing the “Tom Brady Effect:” A highly controversial topic hits the 24 hour news cycle. Most people only read the headline and move on, taking just enough time to make quick personal judgement before continuing to the next tweet or post. After all, who has time to read full articles anymore? Chances are, nobody has read a single word on this page. They skipped right to the video, watched it and exited out of this tab faster than you can say ‘what’s a newspaper?’
It doesn’t matter how true the headline is or what evidence is or is not supplied. The headline is there, Inception-style in people’s brains.
Those who subscribe to the anti-drone/Brady frame of mind immediately go to their camps and figure out how they can use the headline to make as much noise as possible. If it turns out the initial headline is false, they may quiet down about it, but they will never loudly announce they were wrong.
Now, nobody is going to use this video as evidence about the dangers of drones (they better not, it looks pretty fake and, again has been confirmed as fake). But, if the creator had posted the video into the void of the web and then said nothing about it, conspiracy theorist and drone detractors around the world would latch onto it like leeches.
On that note, I would like to shout into the video that I think the MythBusters, who are great fans of DJI’s drones, should conduct an experiment to see exactly what would happen if a drone hit and airplane.
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com