You’ve Been Tubed: from Jon Ronson to Jon Snow

Also in this week's viral video round-up: hate tweets, a ski jump and a tiny Adele

1. Nouvelle spam
An astounding short film by writer and documentarist Jon Ronson. The author of The Men Who Stare at Goats was peeved when he discovered a spam Twitter feed called @jon_ronson that used his image and painted him as a footling weirdo obsessed with unusual food combinations. When tweets asking the authors to desist didn’t work, Ronson requested an interview and, surprisingly, got one.


Once Ronson meets the creators of the fake account, things quickly get very odd indeed. The men behind @jon_ronson are, to put it bluntly, three of the most infuriating berks ever captured on film. They’re academics, but they’re so lost in a beard-stroking, beyond-Nathan-Barley world of discourse, algorithms and “repurposing social media data into an infomorphic aesthetic” that they might as well be aliens. At one point one of them quite seriously asks, “Is wasabi dumplings on-brand for Jon Ronson?” Another avers that Ronson’s perfectly standard framing of the trio, sitting next to each other on a settee, is a means of exercising “psychological control”; and that Ronson using his own name on Twitter is highly unusual and is therefore “brand management”. There is much, much more: all Ronson’s objections are serenely met with epic neologist piffle. Watch it and weep, it’s incredible.

2. Harsh tweetment

Still on trolling, but of the more old-fashioned kind: six years since the birth of Twitter, US celebs read out the best hate-tweets they’ve ever received. Will Ferrell, Louis CK, Kathy Griffin and others join in the deadpan fun on Jimmy Kimmel Live – it’s a hoot but as always, what could possibly be going on in the heads of the people who sent the tweets in the first place is a huge, dark question best left alone.

3. Not so old friend, not so shy

Simon Cowell and David Walliams this week bemoaned the number of children turning up to sing Adele’s Someone like You on Britain’s Got Talent without appreciating the meaning of the lyric. Nonsense: here’s a two-year-old singing it perfectly well. Wait for the shameless emoting on the chorus – and throughout, older viewers may detect the influence of Margarita Pracatan.


Another brave young performer: the vid’s called “Girl’s First Ski Jump”, but will this nine-year-old go through with it? Horribly tense.

5. Snow melts


“If you don’t mind me saying, it’s… pectorally uplifting.” It’s not often you see Jon Snow flustered during Channel 4 News, accustomed as he is to shooting down well-briefed politicians on the day’s big policy announcements. But he visibly lost his train of thought this week during an apparently harmless item on the GB kit for London 2012. After a minute-long VT from the launch of the Stella McCartney designs, it’s back to the studio for a discussion with athletes Stefanie Reid and Louis Smith. When Smith strips down to his leotard, Snow starts stumbling like Alan Partridge confronted with a topless show-jumper.