Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Fake Bloggers.

Every once in while another fake blogger pops up. There was that Bent Collective thing (which, I've just discovered, is still stringing along folks). The guy in Australia that was supposedly bashed and in a coma. Some other guy who supposedly died- some chick did that one. Have I forgotten any? Oh look, there's a new one!

Here are some handy hints to figure out if a blog is fake or not.

1). Pictures. Fake bloggers typically have few, if any,photographs of themselves on their blog. And if they do have photos, often you could swear they weren't the same person. Often they claim they don't own a digital camera. Ask yourself how many people do you know, aged between 20 and 50, who don't have access to a digital camera. My Amish brother is, of course, one of those people. But he is the exception. He doesn't have a computer. Or electricity. I did convince him to take a picture with mine when I visited him in April. So he's real.

2). Extraordinary circumstances. If Blogger X seems to have a series of amazing, unbelievable things happen to them, then it is likely that these events are fictional. Examples can include frequent, bizarre accidents and the resulting trips to the emergency room, immunity from fatal or deadly diseases, organ transplants, surviving a criminal attack and then being asked to help in the investigation, and so on. If it smells fishy, it probably is. I once had a pathological liar for a roommate and he would slowly feed us amazing stories. Individually they were believable. But if you lined them all up, it became obvious that there were too many extra special events happening to the same fellow.

3). Inability to meet other bloggers. Sometimes the extra special events coincide with a planned meeting with another blogger. "Sorry, Blogger X, Blogger Y couldn't make it because he is on life support with a potentially lethal virus!" That actually happened to a fake blogger a couple years back. If a blogger refuses to meet you, despite living around the corner, what's up with that?

4). People dying. Lots of people die every day. Fake bloggers seem to revel in death. They have extremely elderly relatives (103!) who pass away. Those are the best kind of relatives to have. Or a mother who died in a terrible car accident and they found out in some particularly tragic way. That usually gets lots of sympathetic comments. And sometimes they die themselves. Alright, here in the United States everyone is required to have a Social Security number to do basic things. Like have a job or a disability check. When you die, this is reported to the Social Security Administration and it gets listed on the Social Security Death Index. So if you are a fake blogger, and you say someone dies, it is relatively easy to check their name (even using just their first name or a part of their first name) and date of death to determine if someone actually died or not. Similarly, if someone gets murdered, it is relatively easy to get on the internet and locate newspaper articles or police files on the event. Except when someone is not really murdered.

5). The Power of Google. It is really hard to create a fake person and then get all the facts right. Annoying things like how old one should be at a certain time. Police procedures. Healthcare protocols. What majors are offered at certain universities. Membership in a certain group. Thanks to the internet, it is super easy to snoop on people/places/events/facts and find out things. When I Google my own name, I get 1,470 hits. So people who write fake blogs should make sure they
never write about anything specific, because it is way easy to determine what is the truth and what is not.

Moral of this entry. If you want to write a fake blog and convince people you are a living, breathing person instead of a chunk of computer memory, do so. But don't get all upset when we find out and expose you for being a fraud.

Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

comments powered by Disqus