One phrase I’m seriously sick of reading is “I don’t care if it was photoshopped. It was funny.” I wouldn’t care so much if this was part of the original post. “I came across this and I know it’s fake but, bearing that in mind, you may still find it amusing.” That’s honest.
But they never do that. They post stuff as if it is real, sometimes just to make a joke but sometimes to make a point (it’s better to have a point when you’re making a joke than to get poked when you’re in the joint, I suppose), and then when somebody calls them on it, they come up with this lame “I don’t care” response.
Just admit it. You got burned. It happens to everybody. More and more, actually. On the great human trek from apelike savagery to intergalactic enlightenment, we are deep in the tall grass of the uncanny valley right about now. We have the rudiments of the hive mind that will be able to analyze all of the resources on Earth and construct a paradise like the Eloi lived in in The Time Machine, cure all the diseases , send robots and human micro-societies out on ark ships to explore the universe, and spot the difference between a real video and a fake.
How can you tell? The one with the flying bed is definitely fake, for instance. Stuff with people dressing up their dogs as ballerinas is undoubtedly real. I don’t know. I don’t have a foolproof method, and I get it wrong all the time.
The point is to be honest about it. Because maybe it still would be funny. Just not if people are expecting us to think it’s real. That’s not funny.