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People Are Sharing Fake Facebook Live Videos “From Space"

Technology might be advanced, but not that advanced.

Posted on October 27, 2016, at 9:31 a.m. ET

If you were on Facebook yesterday, you may have seen several media outlets purportedly broadcasting live from space.

Facebook: VirallUSA

The most popular of these, Viral USA's livestream, racked up 28 million views and more than 530,000 shares.

A few hours later, Unilad also did a Facebook Live, with the caption "Space from the International Space Station!".

Facebook: uniladmag

That video was viewed more than 19 million times and shared more than 213,000 times.

People were really impressed, marvelling at both the view from space and the state of technology.

However, astute commenters were not convinced.

Indeed, there was – and has been – no mention of a livestream from space on either NASA's or the International Space Station's respective Facebook pages, even though they were tagged in the post.

Facebook: uniladmag

The ISS has its own livestream on its website, and, according to Mashable, it was showing a different stream from the Facebook Live videos at the time of broadcast.

That's because Viral USA was not actually broadcasting live from space. The video was shot by US astronaut Terry Virts during a spacewalk on the ISS in 2015.

Unilad's video, meanwhile, came from a spacewalk video that was shot in 2013.

The livestreams lasted almost four hours because the videos were on loop.

Facebook: uniladmag

For example, this same shot appears near both the beginning and end of the Unilad video, as well as several times in between.

A NASA spokesman told the BBC that the videos were not live footage from the ISS, adding that they must be old spacewalk footage.

Unilad said it posted old footage on a Facebook livestream to "test the capabilities of what the 'live broadcast' feature on Facebook could really do".

Viral USA, meanwhile, had not yet responded to the BBC.

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