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Catcaller revenge video goes viral (but is it real?)

Commentary: A woman's response to a catcaller in London is so deliciously just, it might just be a ruse.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


A scene from the video.

YouTube/Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

It seemed like a delicious enactment of justice. And of vandalism.

Such was its content that many immediately got excited.

Here was a woman on bike in the center of London getting catcalled -- more accurately, abused -- by a man in a van.

He insults her, wants to know if she's having her period. You know, the sort of thing that sadly doesn't seem surprising.

The action is filmed by a motorcyclist riding behind the woman. He manages to capture it all, as she catches up with the van and proceeds to tear its wing mirror off.

On Wednesday, many media sites immediately featured this as an example of a happy ending. Some, though, might have doubts. It's convenient that the man on the bike captured it all. He was, presumably, wearing a GoPro or similar camera.

And then the original poster -- the Viral Thread Facebook page run by Jungle Creations -- removed the video, but not before it had received more than 10 million views.

This removal may have been precipitated by the Sun, which claimed to have found an eyewitness who said the whole thing was, gasp, staged. One even said that those featured in the video had to practice two or three times before they got it right.

Jungle Creations didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. However, its co-founder Paul Beiboer told the Evening Standard: "We couldn't verify its authenticity, but we don't think it's fake."

Some might find this confusing, as the Sun's witness claims that Jungle Creations co-founder Jamie Bolding was giving instructions to those featured in the video during the shoot.

Naturally, this being the web, the video still lives on YouTube (for now anyway), where it's racked up more than 340,000 views.

It's worth, then -- as if you didn't know -- asking yourself one question about everything on the web these days: "Is it for real?"

Actually, that question isn't limited just to the web, is it?

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