SATIRE: This video of British songwriter David Bowie predicting the future of the internet in 1999 is a joke | by PesaCheck | Jan, 2023

This Facebook video that purports to show a 1999 interview with British songwriter David Bowie predicting a bleak future for the Internet is SATIRICAL.

“David Bowie predicts the impact of the Internet on Newsnight (1999). Watch till the end,” reads the post accompanying the video.

The video occasionally cuts to the show’s host, Jeremy Paxman, to capture his facial expressions.

“I don’t think we’ve even seen the tip of the iceberg. I think what the Internet will do to society, for good or bad, is unimaginable,” Bowie began.

Paxman interjects, “It’s just a tool now, right.”

“No, it’s more than that. For example, I think, in the future, we’ll waste hours and hours of our lives just watching videos of cats and dogs and they’re adorable. And we’ll share those videos with our friends. And our friends will respond, not with words, but with a row of Little, round, cartoon smileys. We’ll call that progress.”

Bowie continues: “And we also wouldn’t be able to watch any of those videos without having to skip the ad first. This ad will be tailored to your internet viewing habits although for some reason it will always be about some disgusting oatmeal you’ll never buy anyway … And there will be far-right groups spreading misinformation about immigration on these social media sites that will then be shared by our family members.”

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The songwriter, who passed away in 2016, was featured on a BBC interview program called “Newsnight” in 1999, and the broadcaster shared a video of that interview on YouTube in 2022. In the interview, the music icon talked about his life in music with BBC Jeremy Paxman. He also talked about what he thinks the impact of the Internet will be.

However, in the original video, Bowie wears his natural hair but in the parody video, the character impersonating him appears to be wearing a wig.

Forensic video of David Bowie (left) versus the parody version (right).

Parodies Video Originally tweeted by British comedian Michael Spicer in 2022. Spicer is known for his satirical video show, next room.

The parody video begins with an original transcript of Bowie’s interview with BBC Captured at 9:46, as well as Paxman’s intervention. But that is all that is similar between the two videos.

Bowie never mentioned anything about the appearance of targeted misinformation kits, emojis, or ads on social media as the satirical video claims.

Instead, Bowie focuses more on the impact of the Internet on music. “That the Internet is such an alien life form. I’m talking about the actual context and state of the content will be very different from anything we can really imagine at the moment as the interaction between the user and the provider will be very simple,” Bowie said.

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“The idea that a piece isn’t finished until the audience comes to it and adds their own interpretation of what the piece is about is the gray space in the middle. That gray space in the middle is what the 21st century will be like,” added the music icon.

Besides, unlike the parody video, Paxman interfered several times in the original video.

PesaCheck examined video shared on Facebook claiming to be of a 1999 interview with British songwriter David Bowie predicting a bleak future for the Internet and found it SATIRICAL.

This post is part of an ongoing series from PesaCheck to validate content flagged as potential misinformation on Facebook and other social media platforms.

By partnering with Facebook and similar social media platformsThird-party fact-checking organizations like PesaCheck help sort fact from fiction. We do this by giving the audience a deeper insight and context into the posts they see on their social media feeds.

Have you discovered what you think is false or misinformation on Facebook? Here’s how you can report. And, here More information about PesaCheck methodology To verify the authenticity of questionable content.

This fact check was written by the premier fact checker at PesaCheck Simon Molly Edited by the Senior Copy Editor at PesaCheck Cedric Iracuse and Acting Copy Editor Francis Mwaniki.

The article has been approved for publication by the Managing Editor of PesaCheck Doreen Wenine.

PesaCheck is the first public financial fact-checking initiative in East Africa. Co-founded it Catherine Jichero And Justin Ehrensteinand is incubated by the largest accelerator of civic technology and data journalism on the continent: Code for Africa. Seeks to help the public separate fact from fiction in public statements about the numbers that shape our world, with a particular focus on statements about public finances that shape government delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) public services, such as health care, rural development, and access to water/sanitation health. PesaCheck It also tests the accuracy of media reports. To learn more about the project, visit

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PesaCheck is an initiative of Code for Africathrough Innovate Africa FundSupported by Deutsche Welle AcademyIn partnership with a coalition of local African media and other civil watch organizations.


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