Merriam Webster Defines the term Viral as:
quickly and widely spread or popularized especially by person-to-person electronic communication <a viral video>
Merriam Webster Defines the term Advertisement as:
something (such as a short film or a written notice) that is shown or presented to the public to help sell a product or to make an announcement
Now it’s time for audience participation: Go to Google. Search for the following terms exactly (you can cut and paste):
I am a Ukrainian this video needs to go viral
Searching these exact terms will bring up over 1 million results. The first five pages (50 hits) discuss or show the “I am a Ukrainian” video and state clearly:
This video needs to go viral.
In the video, the female, Yulia states:
“We want to be free from a dictatorship”
You can help us only by telling this story to your friends, only by sharing this video, please share it, speak to your friends, speak to your family, speak to your government and show that you support us”
The video ends with:
“Please contact your representatives and demand they support the Ukrainian people in their fight for freedom and democracy. Before, it’s too late.”
The video, was exclusively released on the Whisper Roar, YouTube channel for Ben Moses’ film: “Whisper to a Roar” on February 10, 2014. Ben Moses, is the filmmaker and editor. While interviewing about the film, Moses states:
…I decided to take a train over the Kiev to see my friends… …One of the people I met was this young woman Yulia…
After engaging in conversation with the Maidan Protesters about publicity, Moses states:
…You gotta do it in English. They learned that in Egypt. You gotta put all your signs in English. And so I said look if you want to reach the rest of the world, you gotta do it in English…
Regarding Yulia, Moses says:
I pointed to her and said you’ve got this beautiful spirit about you and this beautiful way of communicating. Ya know, if you ever feel like it, We’ll put something on video and throw it up on the internet…
In January 2014, Julia agreed:
…I’ve been thinking about what you said, and I would do it, I will do it.
Who is Yulia?
Her full name is Yulia Marushevska. She is a graduate student in Kiev, Ukraine. In a recent interview with Kiev Post: She previously worked for Moses as a translator during his previous visits to Kyiv.
This conflicts with Moses’ account.
Is this the real reason why Moses withheld her identity?
Who is telling the truth, Moses or Marushevska?
According to Marushevska, Graham Mitchell, a friend of Moses, helped her write and edit the script for the video, which was shot in two takes. The problem, while emotionally compelling, the “I am a Ukrainian Video” contains factual inaccuracies:
It states Yanukovych is a dictator. The reality is that Yanukovych was democratically elected. This is easily verified.
Was this a mistake or intentional?
Why is this relevant?
The caption for the video reads:
There is one factual error: the heavy outpouring of people into the streets occurred over several days after the beatings, not immediately the next day. – Ben Moses (Los Angeles)
Moses has worldwide credibility. However, both videos contain easily verifiable falsehoods that many, worldwide, believe are true. As a result, these videos swayed public opinion and had a major impact on International Politics.
The major factual inaccuracies combined with the Moses’ own admission that the video was his idea and released exclusively on his commercial YouTube channel creates credibility issues and raises two questions:
Was the Euromaiden Revolution advertised and sold to the world? Or was the video truly a viral plea by an innocent, yet beautiful, victim of a dictator’s ruthless crackdown?