Written by Evan Prunty
Earlier this week, Unbox Therapy a well known tech oriented YouTube channel, jumped at the chance to prove if a few photographs of a significantly bent iPhone 6 Plus’s circulating the internet had any merit to them. Lewis of Unbox Therapy performed the now coveted “Bend Test” on the iPhone 6 Plus to find that it did indeed bend quite significantly. The video was posted on September 23rd and just two days later Apple’s stock (AAPL) dropped 3 percent. In other words, a YouTube video caused one of America’s most sought after company’s value to drop 18 billion dollars in one day. Considering that their market cap or overall value is 600 billion dollars that is pretty insignificant and the stock will undoubtedly bounce back soon enough. At the time of writing this article, Unbox Therapy’s video has over 40 million views and the term “Bendgate” has become a part of everyday language.
There were those on the Internet who called Unbox Therapy’s video a fraud. Screenshots of the video began circulating showing discrepancies in the editing of the video. The iPhone’s clock had different times at key points within the video. To some this meant the video must be a fraud. On September 27th Unbox Therapy posted a response video to quiet the disbelievers, the video was uncut and showed Lewis bending an iPhone 6 Plus in a public setting with complete strangers filming to quiet anyone who did not trust in the validity of the video. During this bending craze, many other popular smart phones were tested but none had the same significant bending as the aluminum unibody of the iPhone 6 Plus.
The “Bendgate” situation says a lot about how our society has changed just in the 9 years since YouTube’s creation. Being a well-known YouTuber makes one almost as credible as any other public figure. That is not to say that there are those who don’t jump to discredit anything they see on the Internet and probably for good reason, but it is interesting to see how this story unfolded through the Internet. It wasn’t NBC or CNN breaking the news and giving information to the public it was a concerned consumer who has a passion for technology.
Today, we begin to see the shift in power as the big news corporations take their stories from the Internet instead of the other way around. The news is becoming more and more like a grandparent who just found out how to pull up a webpage, instead of a credible source that has a connection with its viewership.