April 8, 2021

A video of dancing robots grooving to “Do You Love Me” by The Contours has gone viral on YouTube. The video, shared by a channel called Boston Dynamics, was seen more than 30 million times. While some commenters wrote that these robots will take over the world, others claimed the video was just bad CGI. Here’s how we fact-checked it.

Try a reverse video search

One way to fact-check a video that you’re unsure about is a reverse video search. You can do this with a free Chrome or Firefox extension called the fake news debunker by InVid and WeVerify.

Once you have the extension installed, all you have to do is grab the link to the video you’re curious about, copy it over using the keyframes tool and click submit. The plugin will pull still frames from the video and use them to do a reverse image search. (Watch the video above for a tutorial on how to do this.)

The results brought up this article from WBZ CBS Boston, which is a CBS-owned news station.

According to the article, these robots from Boston Dynamics really are dancing to “Do You Love Me” by The Contours. The video features their Atlas, Spot and Handle robots.

Check out who is sharing the information

Doing a reverse video search can be a really great way to verify information, but there are some easier ways you could fact-check this. If you ever come across something you’re not sure about, be it on YouTube or any other platform, a good place to start is by checking out who the information is coming from. Checking out Boston Dynamics’ “About” section on YouTube, it says that their mission is to build the most “advanced robots on Earth, with remarkable mobility, agility, dexterity and speed.” And they also include a link to their website, which has a ton of information.

Try a keyword search

Another simple way you could have fact-checked this is by just doing a quick keyword search. I just plugged in the title of the video into Google, and one of the first things that popped up was this fact check from Snopes.

According to Snopes, the video was posted Dec. 29 as a way to welcome in the new year. They also reported that Boston Dynamics is a well-known and reputable robotics company that has worked with MIT and the U.S. military.


Legit. These robots from Boston Dynamics really are dancing.

Support high-integrity, independent journalism that serves democracy. Make a gift to Poynter today. The Poynter Institute is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, and your gift helps us make good journalism better.

More News

Back to News