The art of catfishing blog series: post one

Saturday, November 02, 2013

   Hi everyone!
    For theis blog series I decide to look into a new phenomenon called 'catfishing'. I really don't know that much about the phenomenon. Yes, I've watched the MTV show before but I never really quite understood WHY it was so popular. Knowledge is power after all right?!?

Here's a definition of what catfishing is via the lovely
 "A catfish is someone who pretends to be someone they're not using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances.

Did you hear how Dave got totally catfished last month?! The fox he thought he was talking to turned out to be a pervy guy from San Diego!"

So where did the term Catfishing come from? Nev Shulman is the answer to this. His brother and friend documented in 2008 his online relationship with a family in Michigan. Throughout a year he communicated in his office in New York city; exchanging his pictures in order for the 8 year old daughter Abby to receive inspiration in order to paint  pictures that she sold at her art gallery. During the year, Nev got closer to the younger girls older sister-Megan. They exchanged information such as adding each other on Facebook,  texting one another and even talking on the telephone. Romantic desires to see one another were expressed in the relationship. Needless to say, the documentary showed Nev falling in love with a girl he had never met in person. He only knew what information she had disclosed to him as well as from that of her internet profiles.
The paintings Nev was receiving from Abby
The group on the way to Michigan
Unfortunately though (WARNING: SPOILER ALERT!!!) Megan proved to be fake. Nev, his brother and best friend drove to Michigan and filmed the events that happened during the interaction. Before going to Michigan, Nev began to have suspicions if Megan was actually who she said she was. She seemed too perfect. Nev decided to look closer into the information she had given him. The art gallery that her sister supposedly owned was an empty building and the horse farm that Megan resided at wasn't under her name. In Michigan, Nev figured out that the mother of the 8 year old girl was actually the one posing as her daughter. She told Nev her reasoning was because she had cancer (which is false) and needed a distraction from her two mentally-handicapped step children. Abby, the 8 year old daughter wasn't even an artist. Instead, it was the mother who had been painting the pictures having then her daughter pose in pictures as if she had created the artwork with her name under it.
So how did she pull it off for so long? The mother admitted to have created over 15 profiles on Facebook and owned three different phones listed under different numbers. To 'pull it off' she used pictures from her friends and family and changed the names. She also used Youtube Clips from other artists to make it seem as if Megan- her other persona-was an artists. Half of the profiles that she had 'claimed' to know in real life were in fact random models around the world that she had never met or even contacted in her life. To add on top of this, her husband -Vince- knew nothing  about the real 'relationship' between Nev and her.

The mom admitting the truth to Nev


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  1. The online world is riddled with catfishing. There are numerous cases of catfishing all around the world. People succumb to this and fall prey to these


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