back to article Catfish: A fanfare for Facebook fakery

Facebook is brimful of hot girls who are usually neither of those things: scammers, hustlers and freelance scumbags who don lovely online masks to get close to you and take you for all you're worth, or if you're lucky, just make you look really stupid. Not all of the masks hide your standard con-people, however – some of them …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And therein lies all of human tragedy...

    "They just told me things I didn't care to question."

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: And therein lies all of human tragedy.

      "They just told me things I didn't care to question."

      And therein lies all of human stupidity.

      There, fixed that for you.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: And therein lies all of human tragedy.

        "'They just told me things I didn't care to question.'

        And therein lies all of human stupidity."

        Since the alternative is solipsism, we don't have a hell of a lot of choice. But then that's always been obvious to pretty much anyone who's capable of sustained thought, and explored at length any number of times by philosophers (eg in Descartes' parable of the evil genius).

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    out of the ordinary

    Before the internet how did we meet?

    Then why are people so suckered in by internet dating, by any means? (dating site, facebook et all)

    Really, you can only deserve to get what you ask for, and if you don't think about what your doing and there consequences, only you are to blame.

    1. breakfast

      Good point

      It's a good point- snogging someone in a club whilst tanked up on lager is certainly a more reliable foundation for a relationship than communicating in writing for an extensive period before you meet in person.

      Seems to me internet dating is as good a way of meeting people as any. Although the internet doesn't actually serve us socially as well as we would like to believe, because actually we do prefer real-world face to face type contact, for that purpose in particular it's pretty useful.

  3. Jelliphiish


    now i'm damn sure i won't be bothering, even if i'd heard of it prior to this..

  4. Stubar

    @ And therein lies all of human tragedy... #

    I read the 1st bit and thought "bollocks" but I was bored and so read on. This means I quite enjoyed the article and what's behind it. I've posted this and put my moniker on it because I don't mind being associated with what I say. The internet has made many of us cynics but really we are just apes in a troop wanting to be liked, appreciated and accepted.

    So I totaly disagree with AC and now I want some blonde to de-louse me :o)

  5. brimful

    Brimful of hot girls

    on the 45

  6. Tom Maddox Silver badge

    What I've been telling you

    See, now this is why I don't use the Internet!

    1. F111F
      Paris Hilton


      I'm with you brother...wait...drat.

      Paris, for just this

  7. Chris Collins


    I watched this and I thought it was going to be shit about some wankers I couldn't care less about. In the end I couldn't really give a shit about Nev but it does actually work as a kind of detective novel, although it's true what they say about it all being a bit suss that a film's conveniently being made beforehand. I preferred Capturing the Friedmans. I'm still not sure about how guilty they are, either.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nicely written

    A friend of mine was hooked by these scam artists, and like you say, it is so sad. He was pretty devastated when I began to chip away the edifice so carefully built by the scammers. The picture he showed me was of a very good looking model that was supposedly the woman interested in him. It was heartbreaking for me to have to break it as gently to him as I could that it was indeed, a scam. He only believed me eventually when I got him to send an email saying he was getting on a plane to go and visit her, having predicted correctly that this would result in a reply saying she was about to come here if only she could find the airfare.

    Very sad, and as I say, nicely summed up.

    1. Tim Elphick
      Thumb Up


      Good idea, I might use that one...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      there was a case

      of an idiot from bangalore who went to spend a weekend with a russian chick he met on facebook in sunny goa. the chick was a bunch of local goan guys, who met him at the airport claiming to be his pickup, they beat him up, stole his belongings and luckily for him, made him the laughing stock instead of an entry in the obituaries.

      sad really, he went to goa with a stiff 'un and got stiffed instead.

  9. Colin Millar

    Stalking 2.0

    There's always been fantasists and manipulators - they used to be a lot better than the boring, can't be arsed to stalk you properly types you get on the innertube.

    Oh - I forgot - web 2.0 means that the medium is not just the message but the whole of objective reality.

  10. Richard 120
    Thumb Up

    Internet & Girls

    Back when I moved into the internet about 18 years ago there weren't really many girls there, not real ones anyway, plenty of the virtuals, the pretenders and the few nerdy ones. As a result I have a kind of "dr. house" mentality that everyone on the internet is lying.

    I met quite a few people who I knew online and they were on the whole ordinary people, but I can't say I found it anything other than surreal. Internet persona's don't tend to be exactly like a real persona.

    The film sounds intreaguing, but I might end up getting irritated because I'd be thinking he was stupid for taking anything on the internet as gospel.

    I don't think I can't be fooled, but I wouldn't emotionally invest myself in any online relationship.

    I'll probably wait for the post cinema release, good review anyway.

  11. Sampler

    "everything you know might be wrong lingers like an undeletable wall post"

    That's got to go on the box surely?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Catfish is in UK cinemas on 17 December

    Thanks for that, must make sure i actively avoid this bollocks watch the documentary about decidous trees instead.

    1. Francis Boyle

      Well I believe there's a good one

      called "How to Recognise Different Types of Trees From Quite a Long Way Away" but I doubt you'd be interested in that either.

      The subject may be 'bollocks' but that says nothing about the quality of the film.

  13. Bucky 2

    I'm a Brute

    Mindfuckery is done by manipulators. If the manipulator's life is desperately unhappy, the appropriate description is "cosmic justice," not "tragedy."

    Part of being an adult is accepting responsibility for your own behavior, and not blaming it, overtly or covertly, on situations like "My wife doesn't understand me," or "I have difficult caretaking responsibilities at home."

    Oh, and I absolve myself of all responsibility for everything I wrote here because I was drunk when I wrote it. Honest.

  14. George Nacht
    Thumb Up

    Sound interesting

    I guess I am going to watch it - I´m neither social network user, nor sucker for human tragedies (or tragedies of any other type, that is), but this sounds like a damn good piece of filmmakery, and to watch work of people who are good at what they do is always interesting.

    let me also say, until I see the steel evidence, I am not going to consider it "documentary", no, thank you.

    By the way, "snapped Occam razor into several pieces" - I guess I know what you meant by that, however, isn´t it what we usually call "mixed metaphor"? That being said, it fits perfectly to the overall tone and subject of the article - good touch!

  15. Anonymous Coward

    What a pile of steaming....

    Dog turds.

    Anyone who watches this is an idiot

    Anyone who believes its true is an idiot.

    Anyone who pays to watch this is shotting. And they are an idiot.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      keep taking

      the meds

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        And I bet

        And I bet you though the Blair Witch Project was the height of the cinematic art

  16. Anonymous Coward

    @ cornz 1

    Number 3: The Larch

  17. illiad

    Its amazing how fast they forget....

    No, really, there are STILL those that think facebook, etc are a 'private conversation'.... thats is why the police always monitor it for raves... with stupid effect, when they get the wrong idea!!!

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Facebook vs MySpace

    "Facebook is brimful of hot girls who are usually neither of those things: scammers, hustlers and freelance scumbags who don lovely online masks to get close to you and take you for all you're worth"

    Funny, I've had no "become my friend" spam on Facebook but I get about 4 or 5 per week on MySpace...

    1. breakfast


      Someone is still using Myspace?

  19. Dick Emery


    Luckily I saw this last night though.

  20. Bryce 2

    It's not all bad

    While you are certainly entitled to your opinion, not everyone on the net is a "scammer" or a manipulator.

    I have been married for over 11 years to a woman I met over the internet. At the time we met, both of us had been living in different countries separated by the Atlantic.

    And this was in the days of IRC.

    So yes, while there are people out there who live in a fantasy world, or manipulate others, or who scam... keep in mind that not everyone is doing it.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Yes, but have you two ever met?

      You didn't say "happily married", so I suppose it's possible.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And in 9 days time ...

      ... I'm crossing the Atlantic to meet someone.

      No, it wasn't facebook that brought us together. It was a bug report.

      1. Am

        @John Dee

        And as far as I'm concerned that is far more romantic than meeting on Facebook (stop looking at me like that, I'm being serious!)

        Beer, for toasting

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Thank you

          The thing is, I'd known about the bug for several months, it was a ten minute fix, but I kept triaging it to the bottom of the queue. Our meeting really was a one in a million chance.

          1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

            Re: Thank you


  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's no-one easier to fool

    ...than yourself.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Yep had a few of these types of approachs on facebook.... I enjoy the mental sparring- seeing past what they say to discern their true motives and calling them on it, knowing what response they are looking for and then not giving it to them, but very few seem to have enough stamina to keep at it for long (most only last a week tops).

    There was one really persistent one last year that lasted about 4 months... everything looked really legitimate, good back story, but it was all just a little to neat (brand new facebook profile, and had obviously done some research before approaching me). When "she" eventually lost interest the profile was deleted pretty quickly (photo albums emptied and profile info removed, then the profile removed altogether).

    1. TheRealRoland

      I, for one...

      am welcoming our computer-based Turing-test-bypassing overlords.

      Are you sure this was not some sort of test, some AI trying to find out if it (he? she?) could pass as a human, and surf cyberspace for ever and ever after?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On the internet...

    men are men,women are men and 10 year old boys are FBI agents.

  24. Blitheringeejit

    If you enjoyed this, you might like ...

    For anyone who has spent too much of their life deleting phishing emails:

    Start about 26:30 - and don't be put off by the fact that it appears to be an episode of You and Yours!

  25. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    And I did'nt think Facebook facial recognition would have *any* uses.

    1 Picture, 300 different identities?

  26. Anonymous Coward

    RIP Cody Ann Michaels.

    Very strange.

    Very amusing.

  27. adobob

    suckered ?

    this was about as realistic as Spinal Tap. Anyone naive enough to be suckered into believing that needs to go to the doctor and ask for a reverse-lobotomy, cos somehow are some point, you musta had one (it's the only rational explanation). seriously, so fake, so cheesy, does anyone *actually* believe this is real ? the use of handicapped children to add *poignancy*, god, so obvious and trite, the idea of making a documentary about meeting an 8 year old (seriously, who would do this ? it's banal first of all, and a bit paedophilic. but again ! instant poignancy ! the "sheer innocence of talking to an 8 year, it's so rrrreeeeel dude", not it's not real, it's about as contrived as it is possible to be). at least spinal tap was funny !!! ;)

    1. Steve Roper

      Exactly what I thought

      He was one brave lad to friend an 8-year-old girl on facebook. Any adult male going anywhere near children is automatically assumed to be a paedo isn't he? It's why I won't allow children anywhere near me. Which is a shame. But that's just the way the world is, right?

      Roll on Apophis 2039!

  28. thecakeis(not)alie

    More like this.

    I like this author! I demand more! (It was a very well written review. Honestly!)

    <3 Sarah.

    Merry Christmas, Moderatrix!

  29. Anonymous Coward

    Never even occurred to me this might be real

    So many of these fake documentaries/scripted reality shows, none of them are real, why would we think that this one is?

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Hmmmm facebook = bullshit.

    First the scammers were novel.

    Then they got to be entertaining.

    Analytically interesting became engaging and worthy of scrutinising.

    After a while, they and their stupid bullshit got boring.

    Then real life responsibilities became interesting.

    And Facebook became an idiot trend for time wasting.

  31. Anonymous Coward

    I was duped too...

    ... I was following this spotty nerdy 60 year old woman, with buck teeth who weight 20 stone & lived in a trailer park.

    Boy, was I ever pissed when it was revealed she was a 20 something, curvacious, brilliantly minded super model with a degree in biology and a serious desire to shag, who lived in a trailer park.

    I'll never trust facebook again.

  32. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Decision trees

    For every link that fails the Turing test there's one that passes. In ten clicks a stalker paedophile rapist politician has more in common with you that your best friend.

    Well three probably...

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