Between a proposed ban on large sodas and a sophisticated surveillance network, New York is quickly becoming a nanny state. Perhaps that’s why so many New Yorkers actually fell for John Powers’ report about how every Citi Bike is equipped with two spy cameras that are constantly watching you and the road. The story was later revealed to be just a joke, so calm down everyone!
John Powers, who is a comedian and not a reporter, put up a blog post on how he discovered two surveillance cameras after shattering the front façade of a Citi Bike in a run in with a crazed cab driver. Powers claimed that there was one camera that appeared to point up to the rider while the second faced outward to record the road. To make his story seem even more credible, Powers also included an unrelated quote from Mayor Bloomberg and a humorous (if you keep in mind that this is all entirely fake), but fictitious New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly sound-bite.
“They (the cameras) will not hurt you or get you in any trouble of any kind. The only people who should worry are the ones on the corner dealing drugs and committing crimes. The vigilance of New York City is unmatched and the technology that it takes to bring criminals to justice has just caught up.”
Soon after noticing more than 125,000 people visited his false article and a 20 minute interview with a New York Post reporter, who just did not get the joke, Powers had to actually put up another post saying he was not a reporter to finally end the hoax. In a baffled response, Powers questioned the merits of a 24-hour news cycle and agreed that the joke wasn’t meant to be funny but rather scary.
Lead Image © John Powers