- A TikToker prank video of Mona Lisa theft went viral this week.
- There is no indication that the painting was stolen, but many people are worried about it.
- Panic over hoax highlights how users treat TikTok as a news source.
A joke video from TikToker has led many users to believe the famous Mona Lisa painting has been stolen, drawing attention to how users are increasingly treating the entertainment platform as a source of information.
The video, posted earlier this week, showed a stream of ambulances and police cars with their sirens on. “Point of view: your [sic] in Paris when the Mona Lisa was stolen,” read the on-screen text. However, the caption included a “Minions” joke: “Grus has done it again!!”
The video amassed seven million views and 1.7 million likes in just three days, with many concerned viewers appearing to believe the artwork actually came from the Louvre.
“I HAVE NOT SEEN TIKTOK FOR 2 HOURS AND THE MONA LISA HAS BEEN STOLEN!?!?” read one of the panicked comments, garnering over 218,000 likes.
Instead of clarifying their joke, TikToker @Narvanator made an update video to keep trolling.
“My friends and I went to the Louvre today to check and see what the situation is, and she’s gone, the Mona Lisa is gone.” the creator said in a video posted on Monday.
Over the past few days, many TikTokers have made videos referencing the false claim that the Mona Lisa is missing, and it’s unclear who is in on the joke and genuinely believes it. However, it sparked mass curiosity when a top TikTok creator posted about it this week.
“Who stole the Mona Lisa lol,” Hope Schwing, a TikToker with nearly 10 million followers, wrote on Monday. People in his comments section were quick to respond, telling him and others that the original TikTok was just a ruse.
Insider reached out to @Narvanator.
Most people have fun with it all. “They say it will be auctioned off to an ultra rich man from the United States, guess who?” a TikTok said, garnering over 80,000 views.
A travel influencer shared a video joke of himself standing in front of a fountain talking on the phone, and he claimed he got a call saying the Mona Lisa was stolen and taken somewhere in Rome “Good day to be an art collector,” he joked.
There have been no reports that the Mona Lisa painting has been stolen this week. Insider has also reached out to the Louvre for comment.
But perhaps it’s more remarkable that a simple TikTok has convinced many people that this might be true, as more and more people consider TikTok to be their main source of news and information. During must-see news cycles in 2022, like Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the libel trial of Amber Heard and Johnny Depp, many people have turned to TikTok for updates and stories. frequent comments.
“In our studies, something like almost 40% of young people, when looking for a place to have lunch, don’t go to Google Maps or search. They go to TikTok or Instagram,” said Prabhakar Raghavan, a senior at Google. vice president, said at a technology conference in July.