General Question

gimmedat's avatar

Does false information on one's social networking site prove that one is a liar?

Asked by gimmedat (3943points) July 2nd, 2011 from iPhone

I have recently discovered that a person (read POS) has posted on his FB that he is a nuclear engineer for NASA. In fact, he is employed by a Midwest manufacturer. What does this misrepresentation tell you about this person?

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38 Answers

syz's avatar

It just reinforces the rule that you should never trust what you see on the internet. Caveat lector.

Nullo's avatar

That he doesn’t like posting real info to Facebook. Mine says that I live in Myanmar, because it’s really not any of FB’s business where I live.

Mariah's avatar

It only proves that he lied once. It indicates that he probably lies about more than just that, but you can’t be sure.

A girl I knew posted, on her social networking page, a link to a deviantART account claiming it was hers. The art was incredible, but I was skeptical. I was able to determine that it was not her art. Then it came out that she had lied about a bunch of other stuff. It’s a display of insecurity, I think. These people don’t think that what they really do is good enough, so they falsely claim to do more impressive things.

Coloma's avatar

One lie does not a liar make. Repeated lies do.
Sounds like this person has issues and feels the need to embellish his accomplishments.
Compulsive lying is almost always part of some serious personality/character defects such as a sociopathic or narcissistic personality disorder. Maybe both. All of these disorders have lots of overlap.

Or, he is just some sad sack that exagerates himself to look better and for attention seeking motives.

Impossible to say, but, obviously people like this don’t have much insight as to how they might handle being exposed as frauds, probably just lie about their lies. lol

Really, it;s just rather sad and pathetic.

seekingwolf's avatar

I agree with @Mariah

If anything, it shows that he’s incredibly insecure and is probably posting more impressive stuff to feel better about himself. One lie doesn’t always make a liar but it does make it more likely that you’re going to se more.

WasCy's avatar

Are you sure that it wasn’t a joke? As far as I know, we still don’t have “atomic” rockets. I don’t know of any NASA nuclear programs that would require a “nuclear engineer”. (The Navy, yes; NASA, not that I know of – or can imagine.)

On the other hand, what if he was once a NASA nuclear engineer, but changed jobs and neglected to update his FB status / profile. (I can’t even count the number of “employment” websites that have résumés of mine from ten and eleven years ago, and which still result in the odd contact asking me if I’m interested in employment in a field that I left ten years ago.)

Or he may have recently accepted a position with NASA and updated the FB status prematurely.

Or his FB page could have been hacked. Many have been.

I only count lies that are obvious, explicit, and (when it applies) directed at me or intended to deceive me, specifically.

gimmedat's avatar

Perhaps I should have qualified this by adding that this person has a history of full-on lying – so much so that he was found in contempt of court in relation to his lying. So I guess more precisely, does this lie, although on FB, help prove he’s a liar?

WasCy's avatar

If you already know that he’s a liar more often than this one time and in cases that mean a lot more than a FB status, then why are you even wasting a single brain cell wondering? Of course he’s a liar, but you already knew that.

gailcalled's avatar

If a person has a history of lying and has just told another lie, on FB or anywhere else, he is…rim shot…a liar.

How much proof do you need?

gimmedat's avatar

I don’t need any proof, I know he’s a liar. I am asking because he is currently suing me for a case based solely on lies. I’m hoping to get an impression as to the credibility one would give to FB posts. I have plenty of other proof of lies that he’s told, but I want to bring a printout of his FB profile just to add some more doubt as to his credibility.
Also, there is no way this man has ever or is currently working for NASA. No questions, no doubts, no possibilities, nothing. I can assure you that he would not pass even the lowest level of security clearance.

Kayak8's avatar

I take it that you don’t have an attorney and are representing yourself in the case? If you do have an attorney, that would be the person to advise you of the wisdom of using someone’s FB page as “evidence” in a court case.

WasCy's avatar

I can’t imagine a court case NOT already based on Facebook where “evidence” from Facebook would be admissible or in any way relevant. I think you’re wasting your time – and to take @Kayak8‘s good advice one step further: You need a competent attorney.

Your supposition as to what security clearance this person may or may not achieve in any organization (where you don’t even know the rules, much less set them yourself) means nothing. Your assurances about his employment are baseless and unreliable.

Your assertion that he is suing you “for a case based solely on lies” is not only irrelevant (unless it’s your defense, in which case you need to “establish” the assertion with proof), but it doesn’t make grammatical sense. Really, you need an attorney.

The only thing that matters is what you can prove. You can’t even prove, I think, that he made the Facebook profile himself. For all you know, that can be someone else’s attempt to discredit him, and all he needs to do is raise the issue of “maybe” that is the case, and if you haven’t got hard and positive evidence (or an admission from him under oath) of his fingers moving the keys, then you lose.

To take that last statement even further: You can’t prove what you can’t introduce. If you try to bring up “Facebook” in a trial about something that has nothing to do with Facebook as an actual part (or party) of the lawsuit, then it would probably be thrown out of court. “Next witness.”

You can’t introduce what you haven’t investigated. If the basis of your investigation is what we’re telling you here in Fluther, then you essentially have no case.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
gimmedat's avatar

Really, I’m going to base a case on what people on Fluther are telling me? Wow, I’m fucking stupid I guess.

My awareness of security clearance is spot on. I’m absolutely 100% positive he WOULD NOT ever get any kind of clearance of any type, he probably wouldn’t even pass a basic background check of any kind.

It’s small claims court – no attorney allowed. I have consulted an attorney, I will have help preparing my defense. The case is based on lies, of which I have plenty of concrete evidence to prove.

@WasCy…my claim that he is suing me based on lies is not irrelevant, it’s actually true, and will be proven as such. Back off.

As an aside, I thought Fluther was a community used to atherosclerosis insight and information, gain another perspective and get some feedback. I am fairly good at puzzling out the obvious like, get an attorney, he could say someone else did it, etc. I simply asked the question to get opinion as to whether anyone would give credit to one’s FB page. That’s it. I didn’t even ask what I should do.

gimmedat's avatar

atherosclerosis (auto correct fail)
*ask for others’

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
Kardamom's avatar

@gimmedat Please don’t get so upset with @WasCy . Your question was not a yes or no question, so you have to expect that people will give you answers and give you reasons to back up their answers. That is exactly what @WasCy gave you.

Does false information on one’s social networking site prove that one is a liar?
Answer: No (as per @WasCy‘s explanation above).

What does this misrepresentation tell you about this person?
Answer: Not much (as per @WasCy‘s explanation above).

Don’t blame the messenger. If you don’t like the answer given, then don’t accept it and pick another one. Or don’t post questions on Fluther. Either one of these choices will give you the option of not having to deal with the answers.

I simply asked the question to get opinion as to whether anyone would give credit to one’s FB page.
That’s what you got, an opinion. You don’t have to agree with it.

atherosclerosis insight

SuperMouse's avatar

@WasCy how can the fact that the entire case is based on lies not be relevant? That makes no sense. The facts of the suit are literally untrue, completely fabricated, I cannot for the life of me figure out how that could possibly be irrelevant. I am actually quite familiar with this actual situation and I can tell you for sure that these lies are obvious, explicit, and (when it applies) directed at me or(and) intended to deceive me(her), specifically.

FYI, @gimmedat did not ask whether she should hire an attorney, she asked for opinions as to whether or not these facebook lies which she knows to a 100% certainty are lies and can easily be proven to be lies, might bolster her case.

@Kardamom, I can’t speak for @gimmedat, but I was more appalled by @WasCy‘s delivery of it than the message itself. I am actually very disappointed in the attitude directed to the OP, The Collective has let me down.

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] Flame off, folks. Please try to answer the question respectfully.

DrBill's avatar

I think most people lie, fib, stretch the truth to some extent on resumes and face-book.. We all have our own opinion of ourselves and they tend to be what we want to be rather than as others see us.

Kardamom's avatar

@SuperMouse I think that @WasCy was trying to explain to us all that because no one can prove that a Facebook account was actually made by the person who’s name is on the account, you can’t infer anything from what is written on that FB page, and you also cannot use that information to prove that the person is a liar (and you wouldn’t be able to use the FB page info in court case) for that reason. That’s all he said.

And once again, no one is compelled to accept any of the answers that they see on Fluther. And everyone on here tries to answer the questions to the best of their abilities based on the knowledge and experience that they have.

The dude in question, is probably a liar, but whatever is on his FB account doesn’t prove that. The OP will need to get more concrete evidence to prove his case in small claims court.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Kardamom so really the simple answer that could have been provided without all the attitude toward the OP is “No, lies on Facebook cannot help bolster your case that the plaintiff is a liar.” Pretty simply stated and there is no need for anyone to take offense.

I might also point out that the OP did not refuse to accept any of the answers, @gimmedat just noted that some were a bit off target regarding the question she asked. I agree that mostly jellies are good intentioned, but some of the answers in this thread are, let’s just say, poorly worded.

Kardamom's avatar

@SuperMouse I didn’t see @WasCy‘s answer as having attitude.

I think he gave examples of why the assumptions about FB would not hold up in court. They were examples that I had not even thought of before. So for me, the answer is really good, and instead of just saying yes or no, he gave reasons for why they were such.

I think a lot of people ask questions on Fluther, then don’t like the answers (for a multitude of reasons), even when the answers are true and the person answering gives specific information to back up his/her answers. It’s really unfortunate when an OP asks for an opinon, and when an opinion is given, they rant and rave about how the person should have answered. @WasCy gave both facts and opinions which were valid answers to this question. And not all answers can or need to be simple. Some things aren’t simple.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Kardamom ok, you’re right, I was sorely mistaken. There was no attitude in @WasCy‘s comment about not wasting a single brain cell, nor in his/her comment accusing the OP of not knowing was s/he is doing. The fact is that s/he made all kinds of recommendations and gave opinions on things that a) the OP didn’t ask about and b) s/he had no information about. I get it, you like @WasCy, I got nothing against him/her, I just think s/he missed the mark on some answers in this thread.

The answers that @gimmedat most likely disliked are the ones that insult him/her and the ones where people make erroneous assumptions then give advice based on those assumptions.

gimmedat's avatar

@WasCy‘s response came off as offering advice that I didn’t elicit. I did ask for the opinions of other jellies as to whether FB profiles seemed credible. It actually is a yes or no question.
@Kardamom, if you look at my post after the one where I offer additional information, you would notice I offered that atherosclerosis was a mistake, that I meant to type something else, but that my iPhone auto corrected it to that crazy word. Your “huh?” was actually explained – read.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Kardamom's avatar

@gimmedat The reason I said huh? about that word, is because I don’t understand what you mean. I’ve never heard that term spelled correctly or otherwise with regards to insight or questions. It’s a medical condition right? That’s the part I didn’t understand.

Kayak8's avatar

@Kardamom Gimmedat explained above that when trying to type the words “ask for other’s” his/her phone auto corrected the words to atherosclerosis (unintentionally). I get why you said “huh” but Gimmedat tried to explain it in the post immediately following the one wherein atherosclerosis is mistakenly inserted. (Your “huh” came somewhat after the correction).

@gimmedat It is been stated above that you need evidence and it helps if it will hold up to intensive review and scrutiny. Someone’s FB page doesn’t meet the standard (you can’t prove they made the page, you can’t prove the information is incorrect, etc.). It sounds like you feel you have a good deal of other evidence to prove the individual is perhaps not the most honest person. I think some of what the Fluther respondents are reacting to is that your examples of this person’s dishonesty sound like they are your opinion only. That is not to say you are wrong, but your opinion does not constitute proof.

So the objective is to find evidence to protect you (the defendant) in his case against you rather than focusing on a means to discredit him. If his case against you is lies, prove the truth rather than distracting everyone by going on the offensive. He has the burden of proof, you need to have documentation of facts that will support your contention that he is incorrect.

gimmedat's avatar

Not sure what I wrote to give the impression that the proof I have of this man’s lying is the product of my opinion. In fact, I gave no other information as to the nature of the proof I have, simply because it doesn’t matter. In fact, I there is another jelly, @SuperMouse, who also said that there is plenty of proof that the case is based solely on lies. I’m not going to spell out the entire case on Fluther, it doesn’t matter. Suffice it to say that the person taking me to court IS A LIAR. As far as the FB, I really wanted to say to the judge, “How could he not afford (as he states) to fix the damage I caused when he’s a NASA engineer?”
It would be interesting to see this man’s reaction to a statement like that, because I guarantee, he’s got no idea how to present a coherent, well-planned case.
Thank you, jellies.

gimmedat's avatar

*the damage I allegedly caused (because I really did not cause it)

gailcalled's avatar

@gimmedat @SuperMouse (Do I remember that you are related or do I have my facts confused? If so, sorry.)

WasCy's avatar


I’ve been away for most of the day. I had no idea that I was being so ably defended by @Kardamom, so maybe I don’t even need to say anything on my own behalf here. Screw it; here I am anyway.

I completely understand that you have a lot more emotion tied up in this case than I do, because I have none at all, or at least “had none”, until you directed some of that my way. So let me calmly and unemotionally tell you what I think is wrong with your approach: You’re making it entirely too personal. If you take your own attitude and emotion into a court case, then you will more than likely lose. You “know what you know”. Fine. The man may be the scum of the earth, but if you can’t prove your own case regardless of anything external to it (such as any claims he might make about himself on Facebook, as one ‘for instance’), then he can win his case regardless of what a scoundrel he is. That’s all. What kind of person he may be is totally irrelevant. No one in the court room will care.

So, fine, it’s a small claims case in which you can’t use an attorney in court (which wasn’t mentioned until quite deep into the thread, and is germane to the responses given to that point), but you still have to build a rational case based on the facts at hand. What he is or isn’t doesn’t seem to matter. What he says about himself on Facebook doesn’t matter. What kind of person he is doesn’t matter. Even “whether he has lied about the case”, believe it or not, doesn’t matter.

What matters is what he can prove, and what you can prove, about the case at hand. Only that. What documents and evidence does he have, and what do you have? (It’s a rhetorical question; of course I don’t expect – or want – you to present any of it here.) But this has to be done calmly, rationally, and logically and without anger, hate, prior bad feelings and dealings being a part of it. None of that matters.

That’s why I think and I hope that you don’t take this personally as an opinion of you, because I don’t have one, really it’s not a relevant question. Whether the man is a liar, a bad person, or Satan himself is immaterial. What matters is what he can prove and how he presents his case. If you’re focusing on “whether he’s a liar” or not, then you’ll lose your case, because that’s not the problem you have to deal with. Do you understand me now? I’m telling you that you’re getting sidetracked, and that’s why (I still suggest) you need someone uninvolved with you or with him to unemotionally review and build your case. You’re focusing on the wrong things.

gimmedat's avatar

@WasCy, nice explanation, great. In all honesty, however, you have no idea what I’m focusing on, what other evidence I have, or anything else associated with the case. I will state again, I simply wondered if , within ancross section of people, anyone would look ata a FB post with any sort of credibility. I completely understand what I must do to defend myself against the charges leveled my way. I’m good with it, I will get it done, and hopefully win. This nugget of information is just one piece of information that, in my opinion, speaks to the fact that this man has a very difficult time representing the truth. So much so, in fact, he lies on a social networking site.

Part of my defense is indeed focusing on whether this man is a liar or not, because in this case, yet again, he is LYING. So proving that he is a liar and presenting proof as such most assuredly would help my case. It’s not everything, but it would serve to raise doubt as to his character, motivation, etc.

Do I understand you now? No, again I must be fucking stupid. Thankfully I got on Fluther, got your opinion, got your girl’s back-up and laid out my plan. Thank God, I feel much more prepared. Thanks for letting me see that within a legal case I got side-tracked by focusing on a FB post. Phew. Probably couldn’t have made it through the case, maybe not even to court that day, without you pointing me in the righ direction.

gimmedat's avatar

*within a cross section

sinscriven's avatar

What does he have against you that makes you worried that you might lose this case? The burden of proof falls on him to prove that you did what you did and if it’s a lie then he’s not going to have much to support his argument besides unprovable allegations.

I think you’re barking up the wrong tree in using facebook to prove he’s a pathological liar and that he has a habit of lying out of malice. You can’t prove that what he posts on FB is an intent to deceive and not just something silly, and I worry that talking about your case outside of your lawyer on the open internet will do more harm to your case than good. It just looks like “How can i fuck him over?”

SuperMouse's avatar

@sinscriven he has nothing on @gimmedat that might cause her to lose the case. Her winning is pretty much a forgone cocclusion. As @gimmedat has mentioned, she was seeking opinions as to whether providing more proof that the plaintiff lies habitually, i.e. a Facebook page full of lies, might bolster her case. Even with the evidence and truth on one’s side, it can never hurt to be very well armed. Also as mentioned before this case is in small claims court so there are no attorneys.

zenvelo's avatar

I don’t think you can use a FB self description at all. It is not under oath. And for all you know he will tell the judge “it’s Facebook, my old friends used to tease me and call me a rocket scientist, so I put up that I work at NASA. My friends know I am joking.”

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