Pinch Me

Jimbo had a rant about fake bloggers the other day on his blog so I thought I’d weigh in. I must admit, its been a long time since anyone called me a fake here. I guess partly because I don’t blog as much as I used to. I also post so much of myself online, you have to be a bloody idiot to think I’m a fake. lol  I’ve blogged before about fakes but I figure its worth repeating.

Anyway, I got a kick out of all the outrage that people were blathering on about. Really? You’re shocked that someone is posing as someone else online? You obviously don’t get out enough. Yeah, I get why people are upset but you have to temper that with a bit of reason. People effin’ lie! They’ve been doin it for centuries and this new fangled interweb thingy just makes it that much easier. I liked that Jimbo ranted about the old AO-Hell1days. The fakes back then were fast and free and it was almost an art form to be able to separate the real from the fake. With a little bit of patience and objectivity, it really is easy to spot the fakes. Let little ole me edumacate you in the process. (I’m referring to personal blogs of everyday people.)

Rule #1 and the most important axiom to follow. As my maw-maw always said, ‘believe none of what you hear, and half of what you see.’ That just means if it sounds to good to be true, it usually is. Or at the very least, you should proceed with caution until you know for sure.

Pictures are a tried and true give away. People who chronicle their lives thru blogs naturally enhance their blogging thru pictures/videos. Pics/videos also evolve over time as people do. This is a big one for me personally. If I stumble over a personal blog with no pictures of the blogger, I’m already wary.

If the blogger has to go to great lengths to convince you they are real, they probably aren’t. I had one faker try to use me as ammo once because we had interacted online for awhile. I guess he thought I’d vouch for him. Considering I’d never met said person and only seen one self-pic, I took him with a grain of salt. When he tried to drag me into the blog war, I quickly let him know I wouldn’t be vouching for anyone I’d never seen in person. He then tried to act all hurt. Bless his heart.

Disclosure: I myself got suckered once, big time. I’m happy to admit it. I got hoodwinked partly because I wanted to believe the person was real. I ignored some of the small cues that gave it away. In the end someone else, out of bitterness which I also didn’t approve of, exposed the fake. It would have come out eventually but the way it did was messy and had a very nasty ripple effect.

So there you have it. If you can use my methodology above, you’ll have a hard time getting suckered.

To be fair, I still read a couple blogs that I know are fake. I find the blog( s ) entertaining and as long as they don’t hurt anyone, who am I to judge?2  And at the end of the day, that is the final distinction for me. If someone perpetrates harm then I’m having none of it and all for exposing them for the liars they are. But I also realize not everyone is comfortable being themselves, even in an online scenario. We have artists/authors who perform under alias all the time.  Omission is still lying. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not condoning lying. Its pointless and often leads to grief. But I also don’t act all self-righteous every time I discover someone is a fake. Nor do I go on a witch hunt. I wish everyone was as bluntly honest as I am but sadly, it just ain’t so. I live/act how’d I’d like the world to be but I also realize I can’t control others.  For you few long time readers, you know I’m all about distinctions. Some distinctions, however subtle, are the most important.

  1. my moniker for the ever shitty AOL. The only company that I ever said has customer service worse than AT&T []
  2. One of them I’ve been reading almost as long as I’ve been blogging. And no, don’t ask me cause I’m not trying to stir up drama for anyone else. []

6 thoughts on “Pinch Me”

  1. I pretty much subscribe to the belief that EVERYONE online is fabricating things– at least to some degree.

  2. I kinda get what you are saying, but what about things like LiveJournal, where people blog under a user name with everyone else doing the same. Some people, like Facebook, will friend anybody. It's been amusing at cocktail parties when people find out they've been reading and commenting on each others blogs for years never knowing the true identity of the other, yet they were pretty close friends all that time. They weren't lying, were they? Then there is Facebook where I might be some gay guy from Kansas who likes to have an internet presence but has a fundmentalist church next door with a gun range behind it and can't come out. Technically lying, well, yes, but since I'll most likely never see the person is it important? What about "The Moby Files"? You offer a lot of information about yourself as a person, but what if someone had a blog with a similar title but chose not to give out much identifying info? Not everyone knows what a Moby is, well not anybody important anyway. I guess what my question is, what constitutes lying? Having an online persona isn't a crime, and under the circumstances it might be necessary. Do I confess to my employer that I recruit boot licking men from all over the world to come to my house for wild parties (I wish) or do I confess to my friends that I am a republican who opposes most of the "gay" causes and voted for Prop 8? (no I didn't) I don't think a blog has to necessarily reveal the true identity of the author, someone has something to write and someone wants to read it, but is the author's identity that important? I may have controversial things to write without fear of a picket line in front of my apartment building.

    Having not read the initial posting, because I didn't see a url or other reference to the blog. I think what is being talked about is people using identity to stir up shit, to cause others to do things under false pretenses. To say omission is lying is a little too broad a statement. To represent yourself to others as someone else is most definitely a lie, but in a lot of cases I don't think omission is. My opinion, your mileage may vary. FWIW I don't have a blog, hell, I don't even think anyone reads my facebook, I tried a journal for my own purpose once and I bored myself to death with it and stopped

    @Turbo ~ I think you misunderstood my point. As mentioned, I am referring to personal blogs that allege to chronicle a persons life, not blogs dedicated to fetishes or story lines. This latest fake was dangerous as people were led to believe the persona was kidnapped and possibly tortured. The discovery said person was fake made international news. The harmful repercussions could have been significant to say the least.

    The examples you gave are more about someone remaining anonymous out of prudence. Said folks, are usually pretty upfront about their anonymity and why. That in itself is a form of disclosure. They could still be fake (or not). My point is there is an important distinction between your examples and the latest fake mentioned above. One should be smart enough to see the difference and measure their involvement accordingly.

  3. I saw a storyline kinda like that on Law and Order, except it was video blogging and they had "intruders" come and kidnap them on a live feed with video blog entries of them in captivity. They had the whole NYPD looking for them, all the while pleas on blog entries for some kind of ransom. While that whole thing was fiction, I'm sure shit like that happens all over the place. People are screwed up.

    In your line of work you see more evidence of that than any of your readers will ever see.

  4. When you search my name on the internet you can find a couple of websites in which a fake blogger claims I threatened to kill people, hacked his account and put replaced pictures of him with other people, and so on. This was after I exposed the person for using a real girl's obituary as part of an elaborate story to garner attention (claiming she had been murdered and stating that he had attended her funeral). It turns out the individual also killed himself on one blog, causing many people to become very upset. If you search on the internet today you can find photos of the supposedly dead guy, very obviously alive seven years after his death.

  5. I see Moby out and about every now and then and I can tell you personally that he is totally fake.

    It's especially obvious when you see him up close in direct sunlight, and you can easily tell that he's made of polyduraplastic – like the kind they use to make action figures.

    the dead giveaway is the raised writing stamped just above his perky little derriere, in the small of his back. it says

    MATTELL CORP

    PAT PEND

    MADE IN KOREA

    scandalous

    @Rich ~ lol love it!

  6. I must be naive to believe I follow no fake bloggers. I hope I don't. I think people see me for who I am when I blog. Warts and all. Literally. You've seen the pictures. 🙂

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