Mastermind Behind Internet Sensation 'Damn Daniel' Falls Victim to Dangerous Hoax

The high schooler behind the viral video was a victim of "swatting."

February 24, 2016, 8:30 AM

— -- First, it was a black and blue (or was it white and gold?) dress that broke the Internet. Now, it’s a California high school student in a pair of white Vans.

This 30-second montage of Snapchat videos showing Josh Holz commenting on his friend Daniel’s outfits has blown up on Twitter.

The viral video features Josh repeating the phrase “Damn Daniel” while Daniel walks in and out of frame. The video has been retweeted over 300,000 times and liked by more than 400,000 Twitter followers since it was posted on Feb. 15.

The seemingly mundane video has inspired remixes and a song. Pairs of “Damn Daniel” white Vans sneakers are cropping up on eBay with starting bids in the thousands of dollars. Even corporate marketing teams have gotten in on the fun.

But while Daniel is gaining Internet fame, Josh became the target of a dangerous prank known as “swatting.” Early in the morning on Feb. 23, a prankster phoned 911 to report a homicide at the Holz residence. It wasn’t until armed officers swarmed the family’s residence that it was revealed the report was just a hoax.

This terrifying prank is just another example of the dark side of Internet stardom.

David Devore, known for filming the viral video “David After Dentist,” and Alex Lee, also known as “Alex from Target,” are just a couple of Internet personalities who have fallen victim to countless online attacks.

Devore says that the backlash and negative comments he's received over the years are "just ridiculous" while Lee says Internet users have gone so far as to send him death threats.

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