Stupid Net Tricks

Stupid Net Tricks

by digby

I guess this is the month for stupidity on the tubes. First the dick-tweeting and now this:

After the story of the Syrian-American lesbian blogger who went missing during President Bashar Assad's crackdown made headlines worldwide, it turns out the entire account was a hoax.

Over the past few days, several news reports have surfaced indicating that the author of the blog was from Scotland, after the Washington Post has linked the alleged lesbian blogger's IP address to Edinburgh.

Pretending to be Amina Arraf, who wrote a blog called "A Gay Girl in Damascus" which documented updates about Syria's uprising, Tom MacMaster confessed Sunday that every post on the blog has been written by him, including the whole account of Amina's disappearance and her detention by Syrian security forces which has been reported on by various news outlets.

MacMaster, indicating his location as Istanbul, Turkey, posted a last entry on the blog on Sunday apologizing to the readers, emphasizing that the facts in his posts were truly reflective of the situation on the ground in Syria, even though the narrative voice was fictional.

"I do not believe that I have harmed anyone - I feel that I have created an important voice for issues that I feel strongly about," he wrote.

Right. Except for the fact that it was manipulative fiction, there wasn't a thing wrong with it.

Do people still think the internet is some magical alternate universe that allows you to be anyone and say anything and no one will ever know? Isn't that sort of 1998? What's going on here?