Social Question

Facade's avatar

Would you ever use a fake persona on a website like this?

Asked by Facade (22932points) May 13th, 2010

A lot of people say that you can’t trust the people you communicate with on the web because it’s easy to be a fake or have a facade~. Fake pictures, fake personality, etc.

What’s your experience with this?
Have you done it?
Why do you think people would do this? For fun? To compensate? As a joke?
Have you ever been accused of doing this?

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36 Answers

deni's avatar

No. It just seems like a waste of time. What’s the point in making up so much about a person that doesn’t exist? It’s easier just to be yourself, isn’t it? I’m sure a lot of people don’t see it that way because fake stuff on the internet is everywhere. But I guess if you don’t like the person you are, maybe you feel your only chance is to make up the person you want to be? Nooooo ideeeea.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

The avatar is always me but I don’t use my real name,although there are a few people on here who know my name and other personal things.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I really don’t understand the need to do it… but I know that people do. And I suspect it’s probably an issue of insecurity, but I can’t speak for everyone. I have been accused of using fake photos more times than I can count, I have also witnessed my photos being used by strangers claiming them as their own. Would I ever do it? Absolutely not… I’m with @deni , it seems much easier just being myself. But I’m sure the people who do, don’t necessarily share the same reasoning behind it.

Cruiser's avatar

I have learned that to trust anyone on the net until you get to know them and even then you have to be careful! You have to go on pure instinct. I have shared my personal info and unfortunately been burned more often than not so I am very careful with it. Yes of course much of what you see and read is embellished if not flat out fabricated. And I can usually spot a faker right off so as with anything on the net….buyer beware.

Primobabe's avatar

No, I’ve never done that, but I do know someone who was exploited by a false internet identity.

This guy fell deeply in love with a woman who turned out to be a complete fiction—her name was fake, along with everything she’d ever told him about herself. Although he did meet this woman on-line, they frequently spoke on the telephone (usually more than once per day) and often wrote letters and sent packages. He had no reason to doubt that she was real or to question anything she’d told him.

She eventually got rid of this man by faking her own death (!). He grieved for a long time…until he learned the truth. The woman’s husband got suspicious, looked through her cellphone, and found numerous men’s phone numbers. It turned out that she worked multiple men at the same time—each one under a different identity—as a cruel sport and for financial gain.

My friend was scarred by the experience. He was humiliated and extremely embarrassed by his own trust and naivety.

DominicX's avatar

No, I never would. Being myself is the fun part. :)

I’ve actually caught someone using fake photos before, but it was pretty obvious because they were using photos of a model that can be found easily by Googling. I don’t even remember where I had seen the photo before, but as soon as I saw him claiming it as a picture of himself, I knew it was bullshit.

Never been accused of a fake persona, although I had some people not buying my stories about my grades in school. Whatever. You don’t have to believe it, but it’s 100% true. :)

marinelife's avatar

It would be too hard to keep it up.

bob_'s avatar

I’m 100% me. Except for the name. And the avatar.

But tell us, @Facade, are you a facade? Huh? Huh?

Zen_Again's avatar

Nope. I’m Picard.

chels's avatar

Nah. I don’t really see a reason.
I mean I guess if you’re someone who has something to hide, sure. But I don’t, so..

Primobabe's avatar

@DominicX I’ve actually caught someone using fake photos In the situation that I decribed above, photos were part of this woman’s arsenal. She searched the internet and looked through magazines for the right pictures—slender, pretty young ladies with long brown hair. It was very easy to believe that the photographs were of the same person; she chose them carefully, the people looked similar, and the photos had different lighting and had been shot from various angles.

This dreadful woman’s husband told my friend that the real person was chubby and unattractive; she looked nothing like her false persona!

downtide's avatar

I don’t use my real name or give away my exact location online, but aside fromn that, everything else is real and true. I wouldn’t be interested in crafing a fake personality, I’d just rather be myself.

Facade's avatar

@bob_ Maybe. lol

There seems to be a certain level of “faking it” that is accepted– Real name and location.
Would any of you expect people to not lie about those things as well?

chels's avatar

@Facade I suppose it’s just hard for me to see why you’d lie about your real name, or at least your first name. I don’t really see a point. Location? Well I could see why people would lie about that, especially if they’re scared they’ll get stalked or something.~

Zen_Again's avatar

@Primobabe There was a Dr. Phil episode about someone like that… ultimately he had the parties meet up. It was fascinating.

Obviously I’m not Patrick Stewart, or a dolphin. My name is neither Zen nor Again. But I am always me and answer questions truthfully, I just want to keep my name, face and address private. Some people who PM me or get closer to me online know more about me – but to have my face and name out in the open, well, I won’t judge those who do it – but I’d feel uncomfortable.

Primobabe's avatar

@Zen_Again Wow! I really wish I’d seen that episode; it must have been fascinating. Do you know if Dr. Phil got the perpetrator to show up? It would be good TV just to hear those men tell their stories, but even better if they’d had the opportunity to confront the woman who’d been in the middle of everything.

Primobabe's avatar

We’re all vulnerable because we accept people’s identities as true and valid. Think about it…when you meet someone who tells you his/her name, you don’t say, “No! I don’t believe you. Show me your driver’s license and birth certificate! Give me some references!!” You nod or shake hands and say, “Nice to meet you.”

Of course, if you’re in the position of hiring somebody for a job or entering into a contract with him/her, you’ll verify all information. Otherwise, though, unless you have a reason to be suspicious, you don’t doubt or question a person’s identity.

Facade's avatar

@Zen_Again I forgot about those who never show their face. Why does it make you uncomfortable?

Why hide?

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Primobabe that is really true, we do take identities at face value for the most part. And that really can be tricky when it spills over onto the internet. The anonymity makes it much easier for people to be (or PRETEND to be) anything/anyone they want.

gailcalled's avatar

Never. Too much work, like lying.

Zen_Again's avatar

@Primobabe As I said, the parties ultimately met up. Yes, it was interesting – and very sad too.

Edit: @facade – ask dpworkin.

Primobabe's avatar

@gailcalled Never. Too much work, like lying. Very true. One of my favorite guilty pleasures is being a “Judge Judy” fan (ok, I’ve admitted it!). She has a line that she uses very frequently: “You don’t need a good memory if you tell the truth.” Those are simple words, but they pack a punch. A liar constantly backtracks so that his/her assertions are consistent and believable. What a great deal of work, and it’s all done for senseless purpose of deception.

Facade's avatar

@Zen_Again Ask him about what?

Primobabe's avatar

@Zen_Again You wrote that Dr. Phil had the parties meet up. You didn’t tell me whether all the parties were on the show—including the vixen in the middle of everything—so I was curious. That’s all.

mcbealer's avatar

short answer: No.

expounded: If there’s something that irks me it’s people who are disingenuous. I would therefore never strive to be that way myself. Plus, I just don’t have the time… I barely have enough time to pursue my
true friendships online.

Zen_Again's avatar

@Primobabe They all did in the end. I wonder if there’s a way to find an episode…. do you know how?

@Facade Read his page.

YARNLADY's avatar

No, I use a nickname that I am well known by, but there is nothing fake about me.

ratboy's avatar

My nickname suggests that I’m a rat, but I’m actually a dog.

whothei0's avatar

i use nick names just out of habit not the fact that im protecting my identity also people online know me by my fake name it. ever since i was young and had an account on line i was taught not to use my real name but now i just use a single name on line because i dont see the point in using my real name.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

I don’t use a fake personality, but I do lie about my real name, age (by about a year and a half) and location since so many sites insist you fill those in.

jeanmay's avatar

It all sounds like way too much effort to pretend to be someone else, plus I’m totally awesome. Sometimes I grapple with tweaking the details here and there for the sake of a good yarn, but ultimately I’m too chicken!

I try to write things that I wouldn’t be ashamed to have people I actually know read, even though I choose to hide my face.

Zen_Again's avatar

@whothei0 I take exception to your grammar. But welcome to fluther.

gailcalled's avatar

@whothei0: Welcome from me also. Watch the run-on sentences. They are hard to parse.


whothei0's avatar

funny story my brother sister and i were into neopets a long wile ago so the other day i was thing of old sites i hvent been to in a long time so apparently you now need you birth day to long on and i made it up back then so i cant get into my old account. you can recover you password and your user name but not your birthday

Silhouette's avatar

No, I’m too stupid to pull it off and too lazy to try. I never did like to play dress up.

beaaach's avatar

I might as well use my real name. It would be hard to tarnish the reputation of a person who has nothing better to do than answer random questions, and it is not like I am just killing a few mins as I sit in a cafe or office waiting for a social or business meeting. (more likely waiting for Jerry Springer or Cops to come on, or for Cable to turn my account back on)

I used to care what other people thought, and have different masks and different sets of friends . In a way it is freeing to not GAF . I just don’t do shit if I think it’s scandalous…..the motive for becoming multiaccounted !

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