A video of a bizarre showdown in New York delighted the internet on Tuesday. But it was totally fake.
In the clip, two young men faced off on a sidewalk. Rather than throwing punches, however, the two men just gave each other the middle-finger with increasing anger—never stopping, even after one of the men narrowly avoided being hit by an oncoming van.
The video, posted on Twitter by producer Guy Blelloch, and captioned “the most intense fight I’ve ever seen,” garnered 3.5 million views and at least 40,000 retweets.
But just as the viral “giant cow” was not as giant as it appeared, all is not as it seems with this middle-finger fight.
Blelloch, who made the video, confirmed to The Daily Beast that the video was staged.
“I made it with my friends,” Blelloch admitted.
Blelloch’s LinkedIn page lists him as the creative director for Jerry Media, a creative agency that grew out of the mega-popular Instagram meme account Fuck Jerry.
This isn’t Blelloch’s first attempt at a fake viral video—although none of them appear to have had this level of success. In the past, Blelloch has posted videos that purport to show him “catching” someone putting condoms on the handlebars of a Citbike, doing comically bad pull-ups, and smoking an old cigarette butt.
The non-physical fight’s combination of low stakes and high intensity inspired a number of comparisons to Twitter fights themselves.
And conservative personalities like actor James Woods called the not-quite combatants low testosterone “soy boys,” while others focused on the location of the fight in New York’s fashionable SoHo neighborhood, speculating that the men were two clothing-obsessed hypebeasts.