Meta Question

rebbel's avatar

Would your trust in human mankind be broken if you found that a long term Fluther member turned out to be not at all the person he or she had always pretended to be?

Asked by rebbel (24956points) November 15th, 2011

I have no knowledge or suspicion about any Jelly.
This a purely hypothetical question.
A long serving member could be any Jelly that sticks around for, let us say, two, three years and is often contributing to the site.
Now, from out of the blue that member starts to behave in a way that is totally contrary to her/his behavior in the two, three years prior.
Think: trolling, looking for ‘fights’ for the sake of ‘fighting’, etc. I guess you get what I mean.
Besides probable shock, would you feel disappointed in humans?
Extra or less disappointed because, after all, it was not a ‘real-life’ acquaintance/friend to you?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

54 Answers

marinelife's avatar

This actually happened. A long-time member was apparently a made-up persona with a false history that he trotted out regularly in the form of questions and answers.

All of his stories were lies.

It was very distressing when the truth came out as it so often does.

Bit it didn’t shale my faith in humanity. on the whole. I believe most people are good and true. I have met several Flutherers who were just as advertised.

ucme's avatar

I guess I wouldn’t feel anything, not really. I mean, it’s a persona built solely within the confines of a Q&A website, therefore taken at face value.
I don’t think i’d be surprised if someone was acting a role, that’s their business.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Shake my faith in humanity? Nope, not at all. I remember the case that @marinelife mentioned and it shook things up around here a bit, but other than the fact that most of us (I assume) try to present ourselves a little smarter and a little better than we might actually be (human nature being what it is after all) because of the protection of anonymity, I think most of us are who we say we are. The Jellies I’ve met have been better in person and I already liked their personae a lot yeah, @marinelife, I’m looking at you!.
What are you trying to tell us, @rebbel ? That you’re not a tall handsome bearded Dutch pirate? Are you actually a tall, handsome bearded French pirate?

SuperMouse's avatar

I too remember the case @marinelife mentions. I don’t remember feeling anything in particular. I tend to expect things like that under the anonymity of the internet. I guess as a digital immigrant I approach the world wide web with a bit of skepticism, not to mention that I am quite cynical in real life. So the short(ish) answer is no, it would not shake my faith in humanity. Unless of course you turned out be a French pirate, then I don’t think I could recover.

wundayatta's avatar

I was not around during the time this fellow, who I liked, was apparently outed, and I never understood what made people believe his story was a lie. I had had many private conversations with him, and they all held together as far as I can tell. I have had experience here before with people accusing someone of being a liar and a troll and that person is not at all those things. They are, however, often young, or foreign, or emotional, or unable to express themselves well.

There are people I sometimes suspect of shim-shammery, but they tend not to be the people others suspect. So I don’t know about your hypothetical case, since I may or may not be surprised in any particular situation.

If I did see someone I knew well changing, I would worry. I would not assume it was malfeasance right away. I believe people tend to be consistent in behavior and if someone started changing, if I noticed it, I would be more likely to chalk it up to a psychological issue than a deliberate attempt to pull the wool over people’s eyes.

I’m never particular disappointed in humans. Maybe my kids could disappoint me, but that’s professional. I don’t expect much from others. If they try to hurt me, that’s probably something they think I deserve. I’m not happy about it, but I don’t blame them. They see things their own way.

Blackberry's avatar

It would be kind of interesting to figure out why someone would do that, but I wouldn’t be too upset.

rebbel's avatar

@JilltheTooth Have you ever heard of the bearded lady that appeared in circus sideshows…..? Well, that’s me!
@wundayatta In my hypothetical case the Jelly would reveal him-/herself to be the person he/she wasn’t before.
She/he would not be (supposedly) outed by others, it would be obvious that that Jelly deliberately did so (reveal her-/himself).
I would be disappointed, be it not in mankind, but in the specific Jelly.
As a matter of fact, I get disappointed often sometimes, by newby Jellies who turn out to be trolls after a short time of pretending to be ‘normal’ Jellies.
But that could be my overly sensitive side? :-)

JilltheTooth's avatar

Nice to see that you’re embracing your inner (bearded) woman!
We love us a sensitive pirate, be he (she?) Dutch or French!

SuperMouse's avatar

@rebbel you make a good point. If I found that certain jellies were not who they represented themselves to be I would be disappointed. Probably as much in myself as in that jelly, for buying why they had to sell!

syz's avatar

It’s the internet. I never have faith in anything on the internet.

Mariah's avatar

I don’t take much on the internet at face value because shit like this does happen. More than anything I’d just wonder why they kept up the act for so long.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I must admit to being impressed with the amount of effort it must take to craft a detailed persona, I have enough trouble keeping straight who I am in my real life!

ucme's avatar

Such a person would probably deserve pitying more than anything else.

PhiNotPi's avatar

I like it better where, instead of feeding me misinformation, the jelly just doesn’t reveal information to begin with. I could understand the jelly’s reasons, and there is no dishonesty involved.

Coloma's avatar

Not really, the internet is notorious for nutcases and frauds. lol

Blackberry's avatar

Coloma is really Michelle Bachmann.

Coloma's avatar


Ya got me! Actually I am really Anne Coulter. lololol

Blackberry's avatar

@Coloma @Coulter Oh gawd…..go away. Lol.

Paradox25's avatar

Things like that do not disappoint me, getting nasty with me in a debate when I’m trying to have a civil discussion I would say angers me more (not that I’ve found anything suspicious outside of typical sock accounts). There are people we meet in our daily lives offline that are not what they claim to be either.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

This happened with a Jelly who is no longer around. No, my trust wasn’t broken.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

Meh, it’s happened before, but it’s with another user, not the one mentioned above. It fucking hurts, especially when you trust him/her so much but it hasn’t shaken my trust.

cockswain's avatar

I really wouldn’t care too much. It sort of sounds like fun to do actually. Hell I once told a girl I was an NBA player to get laid.

Coloma's avatar

Well, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that someone who turns out to be an extreme fraud has some SERIOUS mental issues.

Attention seeking and fraudulent behavior is often the work of a really disturbed personality, like a sociopath. They are infamous for faking credentials and all kinds of stories that are embellished if not downright fictitious. Scary stuff if you ask me.

Sunny2's avatar

Lose my trust in mankind? Isn’t this a site on which to have fun communicating? Where you can be anybody you want to be? It would be fun to try on another persona while asking and answering questions. I don’t have the memory needed to lie creatively. I’d forget what I said about what. Still, I can imagine someone setting out to do just that. You’d have to keep a record and not vary from your plan, but one fake can’t ruin my trust.

chyna's avatar

No, I might wonder why someone would do that for about 5 minutes, but I wouldn’t let it worry me or shake me up.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

No. It’s kind of irritating but not mindblowing. It happened when I was a member of and it’s happened here in fluther. There are people who view it as an art form almost, writers, artists, people who act as their own therapists. For me, in a way, it’s a borderline morose entertainment.

laureth's avatar

I feel secure in saying that very little that is done on Fluther can affect my opinion of humanity any more than being on the Internet for 20 years already has.

gailcalled's avatar

MIlo here: …would you feel disappointed in humans? I am often disappointed in humans. Gail is at the top of the list, I might add. She pretends to be nice and thoughtful and simultaneously now hauls me inside at 3:00, claiming that the coyotes who show up at dusk are a match for me. What a fraud.

woodcutter's avatar

My first impression would be to chalk it up to a medication issue. Y’all know it happens.

ratboy's avatar

I assumed that all other Jellies were also chatterbots.

zensky's avatar

You are talking about me, right?

augustlan's avatar

I do shake my head at the lengths some can go to for their own entertainment, but I don’t lose trust. I pretty much always take people (in real life or on the internet) at face value, until I have a reason to do otherwise; I continue to do so with the next person, even when I’ve been proven wrong by the last. My bad, I guess, but I’d rather be this way than the opposite.

Aethelflaed's avatar

Given that my reaction to the Sandusky/Penn State child abuse affair was “Yup, that sounds about right”, I don’t really think I have enough trust in humanity for a deceptive jelly to have much of an impact there.

Dr_C's avatar

Wait… people are dishonest on the internet?

Facade's avatar

No, sounds like a fun way to kill time. Kidding…

perspicacious's avatar

Anyone who says yes needs help.

AshLeigh's avatar

I believe there’s some truth in every lie.
Every made up person has some part of the original person in them.
You can pretend to be someone else, but some part of you is still there.

The thoughts are still their own.
They just have an imagination to create a person they can feel good about being.
Or maybe they want to be a bad person. Maybe they want to be a little mean.
When no one knows you, you can be anyone. But you’re always you, even just a little.

Think about it.
They still thought those things that they answered.
Maybe they changed their name, and tweaked with their past a little. But it’s still them.

If you tried to have an alter ego on Fluther, or anywhere else, what would they be like?
I know mine would be like me, in a sort. The thoughts would still be mine.

zensky's avatar

@AshLeigh Good answer, kiddo.

@perspicacious Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelp!

LuckyGuy's avatar

Confession here:
<<<< I don’t look like this guy.

AshLeigh's avatar

@worriedguy, awe man. I was convinced you were a stud. :P

Coloma's avatar

I look like my avatar, a cougar, golden hair and an intense stare when aroused. lol

LuckyGuy's avatar

@AshLeigh I can neither confirm nor deny your hypothesis.

cockswain's avatar

<——————This is me.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

If it were someone I had come to care a lot about, I would probably be very upset and at least a little pissed off. But would I lose faith in humankind? Naw.

Kardamom's avatar

I’ve typed many, many, many words of wisdom to people that turned out to be trolls, or people who started out genuinely looking for advice, who grew angry when they received that advice. So mostly I just get a little bit irritated and wonder why I wasted my breath.

But most of those times, I received lovely PM’s from other people who participated just as vigorously on those same threads that have thanked me for my thoughtful and/or knowledgeable advice (although it’s not always thoughtful and knowledgeable at the same time, but I try LOL). So I figure that my words are never wasted because there might be another Jelly reading my/our answers and getting something valuable from it.

I would feel a little disappointed to find out that @blueiiznh was actually a woman with brown eyes. Or that @Coloma really lived in a Manhattan high rise apartment and hated geese.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Kardamom No, I’m positive that @Coloma lives in the boonies with her beloved geese. I’ve watched her through my binoculars late at night She wouldn’t lie about that.

laureth's avatar

@Kardamom re: “So I figure that my words are never wasted because there might be another Jelly reading my/our answers and getting something valuable from it.”

That’s the only reason I argue online anymore.

Thanks for your thoughtful and knowledgeable commentary. ;)

SavoirFaire's avatar

I have gone on a website and argued for views much different than those I actually hold. It was an exercise in seeing the other side. I did not stay for long, did not become a mainstay of the community, did not troll, and did not suddenly change my behavior. Still, I spent about a year coming up with the best arguments I could for things that I resolutely did not believe, and I presented them as calmly and as rationally as I could so as to not give anyone alternative reasons to reject what I was saying.

I imagine a number of people on that site would actually be quite pleased if I popped back in to say “just kidding, everybody!” I went to a place where the ideas I was defending were unpopular so as to see how well I could do against an onslaught of what on any other site would have been my own arguments (or at least similar to them). Unsurprisingly, I was unpopular. It was worth it, though, and I’m fairly confident my philosophical heroes would have approved.

Kardamom's avatar

@laureth, you are one of the best debators on Fluther. Everytime I read something you’ve written, I say, “Yeah! That’s exactly what I mean, but she was actually able to say it and say it well!!!”

You’ve not only got the knowledge, you’ve got the balls!

Keep_on_running's avatar

I really want to know who this long-term member was and the stories he came up with! Sounds so intriguing…lol.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

There is a huge difference here than in the real, in the real I get to look into a person’s eyes, I get to check out their demeanor as they say something as to detect if they are lying, comfortable, sincere, etc. I also get to observe how they interact with others in my presence. Online a person can be anything, even on dating sites, Photoshop pics, other embellishments, you can never be sure what you see is what you see. Here, I would not be surprised.

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther