Another link from Boingboing before I go: an SF Weekly (where in this case SF means San Francisco) article titled Attack of the Smartasses, detailing the adventures of the "fakesters" who sign up for Friendster under various aliases, fake names, and fictional identities.

I think the idea's kind of fun (I was tickled when I came across "James" (Kirk) on Friendster, especially when there was a testimonial to him by "Khan"), but I have to admit that the attitude described in the article—a sort of "Hey, this place was lame, but then we came along and made it interesting, the company should be happy we're here" kind of thing—doesn't hold much water for me. It's a free service provided by a for-profit company with a particular set of rules; much as I like art that happens in the interstices of such services (like the funny fake reviews on Amazon), I have a hard time sympathizing with people who talk as though they have a right to break the services' rules.

But I do think it's an interesting point that everyone on such a service is fake in some sense.

2 Responses to “Fakester”

  1. Rachel Heslin

    Oh, these supposedly “hip” characters are just a bunch of whiners. Yeah, it can be kind of fun to create whimsical personae, but there’s nothing in the Bill of Rights that says that you have to be able to use someone else’s service to do so if they don’t want you to. Go get an lj or something and quit harrassing the guy — or create your own service, if you need it that badly.

  2. Nick Mamatas

    The really fun bit is that they have eliminated several fake fakesters, including filmmaker Vincent Gallo’s real friendster account.

    As far as the real fakesters (huh?) if you start a free service and don’t build the rules into the software itself (some sort of ID verification system), then the human need to rebel and have fun, the most important element of human nature, will always take over. You might as well sue the tides for erosion on your beachfront property.


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