A heartbreaking video appearing to show a Syrian boy running through sniper fire to save a young girl pricked the tear ducts of many across the world when it was posted on YouTube earlier this week - but it turns out it was all a deliberate lie.
Norwegian filmmakers have told BBC Trending they are behind the viral video and that it was shot in the safety of Malta.
Filmmaker Lars Klevberg told the BBC that the filmmakers deliberately presented the fictitious film as reality.
"By publishing a clip that could appear to be authentic we hoped to take advantage of a tool that's often used in war; make a video that claims to be real.
"We wanted to see if the film would get attention and spur debate, first and foremost about children and war. We also wanted to see how the media would respond to such a video," Klevberg said.
According to the anti-regime Shaam News Network, citizen journalists had pinpointed that the video was taken in the city of Yabroud near the Syrian-Lebanese border around March 2014.
This has obviously now been disproven.
"This video is not staged," Shaam News Network told The WorldPost by email on Thursday. "In fact, this type of scene repeats itself in Syria on a daily basis."
"The Assad regime continues brutal human rights violations against its own people for the fourth year in a row, with no more than symbolic statements and condemnations from the international community," the email continued.
But Syria’s ruthless war has become one watched on YouTube. With limited access to large swaths of the country, journalists, international monitoring groups and even governments often rely on social media to see what’s really happening across the war-ravaged country.
Those videos offer a window into a conflict where civilians bear the brunt of the war. As all eyes are turned to the battle in Syria and Iraq against the extremist group that calls itself the Islamic State, the Syrian regime is dropping deadly barrel bombs and stepping up its attacks on rebels and civilians alike.Suggest a correction