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Tags catfishing , online hoaxes , online relationships

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Old 17th January 2013, 08:29 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
If by this point he had become aware of the deception, I expect he'd likely say anything it took to avoid being shown for having played the fool. That meant that since nobody would have known any better, continuing to tell the same story he had been telling before he found out the truth.

Not fame, but pride.
While my BS meter has exploded, yours isn't registering. Fair enough. I would check my power supply, if I were you.


We shall see...
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Old 17th January 2013, 08:56 PM   #42
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I propose the following speculative timeline (without specific dates because I don't know them):

1. Te'o first meets this girl online; in a chat room, Facebook, or on Twitter - whichever.
2. The two acquaintances become friends, and begin communicating often.
3. At some point phone numbers are exchanged, and the communication gets somewhat more "intimate".
4. Te'o is noticed constantly texting and talking on the phone and tweeting to this woman, so he takes advantage of the situation and describes her as his "girlfriend" to those who don't know any better.
5. At this point, Te'o may or may not have attempted to meet the individual in person. Whether he did or not so attempt, is not really important. Almost certainly she would have rebuffed any such attempts, if not outright then at the last minute with a convenient excuse about why she cannot meet.
6. At some point, the "girl" informs Te'o that she has leukemia, as part of the affection scam. It's possible this happened because Te'o had begun paying less attention to "her", or not. In such scams, it's common to up the sympathy ante when attention starts to wane, and Te'o's attention might have certainly started to wane after several failed attempts (or requests) to meet in person.
7. The girl begins more publicly interacting with Te'o, particularly via Twitter. It's made public that she's "dying" or at least very ill with leukemia. Te'o refers to her more publicly as his girlfriend and she doesn't dispute the portrayal. When friends express amusement at his having an exlusively online, never-seen "girlfriend", he begins to make things up, like real life meetings, in order to make the relationship sound more "normal".
8. The girl begins dropping hints that she will be dying soon; she and Te'o discuss things like her funeral and she probably insists that he not attend, whenever it happens. This is because she knows there won't really be a funeral of course. So instead she insists she "win one for her" or somesuch faux Gipper-ness.
9. At some point, Te'o's grandmother dies, which is made public, and the "girlfriend" hears about it. Not to be upstaged by Te'o's real life, she immediately "dies" too.
10. Te'o makes public the things she had said to inspire him to play and refers to them occasionally in interviews. Sympathy pours into his and her twitter/Facebook accounts, courtesy of the public.
11. According to Notre Dame, at some point Te'o receives a phone call from a number he recognizes as his girlfriend's, and a voice which sounds similar to his girlfriend's says she's still alive. Te'o is freaked out and hangs up, and ignores additional calls from the number.
12. Te'o, upon reflection, realizes what this turn of events means, and realizes that if he publicly reports that his alleged girlfriend was a hoax, he will also have to explain all his embellishments about real life meetings and a "love" relationship to his fans and teammates, which would be humiliating.
13. Counting on the fact that the hoaxster would not expose "her"self, Te'o continues to act as if everything was still true, including continuing to talk about his "inspirational girlfriend".
14. A magazine's investigative reporting turns up the truth of the matter, and an embarrassed Te'o decides there's nothing left to lose by coming clean about the hoax, including the fact that he never met the alleged girlfriend and that he became aware of the hoax before the public did but said nothing.

I believe this covers all the bases effectively. Questions? Suggestions?

Last edited by Checkmite; 17th January 2013 at 09:01 PM.
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Old 17th January 2013, 09:03 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
Questions? Suggestions?
Nope, but cool story bro!
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Old 17th January 2013, 09:13 PM   #44
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Fake online personas are easy to spot.

They intentionally avoid getting personal. They won't ever cam, take a pic for you, etc.

They try to generate a relationship, be it friendship or romantic, based solely on text. If they are the gender they are portraying, then voice chat or phone as well.

I don't instantly ask every single online friend for pics immediately, but I'll be skeptical if I never see any pic of them. In this day and age, when every single electronic device has a camera on it, there's no reason to not take a pic. Especially for someone you're close to.



So I guess I'm a cat shark. Yeah try and catch me.
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Old 17th January 2013, 09:23 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Kahalachan View Post
Fake online personas are easy to spot...

Especially for someone you're close to.
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Old 17th January 2013, 09:24 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Kahalachan View Post
Fake online personas are easy to spot.

They intentionally avoid getting personal. They won't ever cam, take a pic for you, etc.

They try to generate a relationship, be it friendship or romantic, based solely on text. If they are the gender they are portraying, then voice chat or phone as well.

I don't instantly ask every single online friend for pics immediately, but I'll be skeptical if I never see any pic of them. In this day and age, when every single electronic device has a camera on it, there's no reason to not take a pic. Especially for someone you're close to.



So I guess I'm a cat shark. Yeah try and catch me.

Meh, some people may not like how they look; or might consider a self-portrait vanity; or might be paranoid and not want to link their real-life face with the activities and viewpoints they express online.
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Old 17th January 2013, 09:35 PM   #47
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For a disturbing twist on this fake persona thing, the blog 52firstdates is worth a read.

A woman finds out that the handsome, charming Welshman she met through a dating site is a fiction.
She then finds that many others have been fooled by him as well.

The twist is that a picture he sent had a reflection in it showing what was clearly a woman, but she'd spoken to this person on the phone and he definitely had a man's voice - could it be a couple playing this game?

As far as I know, it's still unsolved.


I'm also reminded of a story that Jon Ronson featured on one of his radio shows, where a man created a female sock puppet, then faked a relationship with her.
After a while, he decided to kill her off - to the horror and dismay of the rest of their online community, who even created a memorial for her.

Story here.
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Old 17th January 2013, 09:44 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Duffy Moon View Post
I'm also reminded of a story that Jon Ronson featured on one of his radio shows, where a man created a female sock puppet, then faked a relationship with her.
After a while, he decided to kill her off - to the horror and dismay of the rest of their online community, who even created a memorial for her.

Story here.
Quote:
Denis cropped a picture of a soft porn star to use as Nowheremom's picture on the site - leading to the frankly hilarious confession by another member that he had seen others pictures of "Nowheremom" in porn mags but was worried about getting flamed if he mentioned this on the site.
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Old 17th January 2013, 09:59 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
Meh, some people may not like how they look; or might consider a self-portrait vanity; or might be paranoid and not want to link their real-life face with the activities and viewpoints they express online.
I'm aware of that. And I thought I clarified with my post saying that I don't instantly ask for pics right away.

There's a point when the friendship grows and you realize neither of you are going to judge each other on looks and just share pics.

There's the natural human need to want to put a face to the person you're friends with, so to deny that is suspicious.
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Old 17th January 2013, 10:30 PM   #50
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I met my fiance online. That said, in my limited dating experience before meeting Thomas, almost everyone online "catfishes" to some degree. They post a ten-year-old photo. They lie about how many children or ex-wives they have. They lie that they have a current wife. They lie about their job/income. They lie about their weight gain or hair loss. ALL KINDS OF SHIZZLE, they lie about.

What has always baffled me about this: The point of online dating sites is to eventually meet in person. I usually demanded this quite quickly, to wade through the BS and get to it. So why post a picture that is ten years old? I am going to know you lied right away and that's that. I am not particularly attractive, but I posted honest pictures. I got dates. Thomas (the keeper) posted honest pictures. He got dates. No supermodels for either one of us, but hey...we couldn't have kept a supermodel anyway. :-)

And I think the Notre Dame guy knew more than he was admitting because he changed the story about how they met and he had said he had met her before the story came out.
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Old 17th January 2013, 11:13 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by shalomsteph View Post
I met my fiance online. That said, in my limited dating experience before meeting Thomas, almost everyone online "catfishes" to some degree. They post a ten-year-old photo. They lie about how many children or ex-wives they have. They lie that they have a current wife. They lie about their job/income. They lie about their weight gain or hair loss. ALL KINDS OF SHIZZLE, they lie about.

What has always baffled me about this: The point of online dating sites is to eventually meet in person. I usually demanded this quite quickly, to wade through the BS and get to it. So why post a picture that is ten years old? I am going to know you lied right away and that's that. I am not particularly attractive, but I posted honest pictures. I got dates. Thomas (the keeper) posted honest pictures. He got dates. No supermodels for either one of us, but hey...we couldn't have kept a supermodel anyway. :-)

And I think the Notre Dame guy knew more than he was admitting because he changed the story about how they met and he had said he had met her before the story came out.
I haven't invested enough time in this yet but I thought the interviews were with family, not Manti directly. And then, I wondered why I cared enough to waste time thinking about it.

He's a grown man, not sure why he's being treated like a middle school hero and, Oh, that poor boy. Who gives a flying red rat's patoot? Why?
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Old 17th January 2013, 11:29 PM   #52
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"Catfishing" the oddest sport ever?

Interesting perspective, and a claim that this particular "woman" had relationships with more people than just Te'o.
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Old 18th January 2013, 03:45 AM   #53
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People lie on the Internet?!!

Next you'll be telling me Ron Tomkins doesn't like cake!
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Old 18th January 2013, 05:28 AM   #54
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I think we will find out gambling interests are in this somewhere.
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Old 18th January 2013, 05:31 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by BenBurch View Post
I think we will find out gambling interests are in this somewhere.
Intriguing. How do you see that working out?
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Old 18th January 2013, 06:36 AM   #56
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unanswered questions

Some good questions here. For example,
"3. Before her leukemia "diagnosis," Kekua supposedly was nearly killed in a car accident. But published profiles of Te'o have conflicting dates -- late 2011, last January, or as recently as April. Why the discrepancies?"
ETA
I am presently leaning toward the theory that he was initially hoaxed, then caught on but did not know how to say so publicly. BTW, there was also a report from a student at Notre Dame to the effect that he dated women there.
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Old 18th January 2013, 07:13 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by BenBurch View Post
I think we will find out gambling interests are in this somewhere.
That would be interesting. A rumor from campus is that he's gay, and invented her. All these other kooks claiming to know her, want 15minutes.
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Old 18th January 2013, 07:14 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by maxpower1227 View Post
One other thing that bothers me is the funeral. I can see the hoaxer(s) having the girl tell him not to miss a game for her funeral, but what kind of person responds by saying "yeah, ok" and going out to play some football?
How many people asked this question last fall, when everyone still thought he had a real GF?
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Old 18th January 2013, 07:20 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by timhau View Post
How many people asked this question last fall, when everyone still thought he had a real GF?
Who cares?
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Old 18th January 2013, 08:23 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by sophia8 View Post
Having read the story, my take is that Manti was in on it from the beginning. Either it started as a joke and got out of control, or the other guy was actually his boyfriend, they were trying to disguise the fact and they killed off the female persona when it got unsustainable..
Yes, the claim of Catfishing, may be a cover story, since there's evidence Manti was in on it.

We can't be sure until more information becomes available. It's believable it was a closeting scheme. Manti was Mormon, and the Mormon church is notoriously cruel to homosexual members (see quote below from progressivepuppy.com)., and he's at Notre Dame, which has a homophobic culture. Now that the story is in the news, Manti is hiding. He needs to be on suicide watch.

Quote:
the [Mormon] church and its members have abused its own people in such ways as creating permanent damage from electric shock therapy and frontal lobotomies for BYU men arrested by Mormon police... TMP also chronicles the hundreds of gay-Mormon suicides, including the story of Mormon Stuart Matis, who fatally shot himself on the steps of a California Mormon church during another Mormon campaign against marriage equality
The hypothesis is out there, as you can see by googling "Manti Te'o gay." In particular is this Huffpost take on it:

Quote:
If Manti Teo is gay, I'm worried about him. If the Notre Dame linebacker at the center of the "girlfriend hoax" story indeed constructed an elaborate cover story for his gay closet, as so many gay men do [have fake girlfriends] in worlds that demand they be heterosexual, the emotional jolt of humiliation and embarrassment at being exposed will be overwhelming. We've seen too many young people, particularly with backgrounds like Te'o's, growing up in the conservative, anti-gay Mormon church, pushed against the wall by homophobia and going to extreme lengths in denying their homosexuality, sometimes even harming themselves.
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Old 18th January 2013, 09:03 AM   #61
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Again, I'm really confused about where the rumor that he's "likely gay" came from. It has been mentioned that students from Notre Dame have reported that he is known to have dated girls; there's no evidence I'm aware of that he dated or was interested in men. The "he must be gay" rumor seems to been started as a result of this girlfriend hoax; but it appears capricious and I've yet to see a basis for it.

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Old 18th January 2013, 09:08 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
Again, I'm really confused about where the rumor that he's "likely gay" came from. It has been mentioned that students from Notre Dame have reported that he is known to have dated girls; there's no evidence I'm aware of that he dated or was interested in men. The "he must be gay" rumor seems to been started as a result of this girlfriend hoax; but it appears capricious and I've yet to see a basis for it.

A good friend, has two kids on campus. They both told him of the rumors. Interestingly, right after the Spartans game. When Te'o spun the death story.
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Old 18th January 2013, 09:20 AM   #63
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As an attractive, single model with a great rack and long slender legs, I find nothing odd with the new catfishing craze.
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Old 18th January 2013, 10:11 AM   #64
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Why not?

Minor league baseball team promotion:
Quote:
The Florence Freedom are excited to announce one of giveaways fans can look forward to during the 2013 season at UC Health Stadium.

On Thursday, May 23 the Freedom will be giving away the Manti Te'o Girlfriend Bobblehead to the first 1000 fans through the gates.


"This will be the best kind of bobblehead a fan could get," Freedom General Manager Josh Anderson said. "Because now fans can make the bobblehead out to be whatever they want it to be."


Yes Freedom fans, the boxes will be empty. But that's where fan imagination can run wild and individual unique stories about what the bobblehead should really look like can begin.


To add to the imaginary fun, section 115 will be blocked and reserved only for fans to sit with their imaginary friends, girlfriends/boyfriends or spouses. There will also be a make pretend kiss cam, air guitar contest and an imaginary food fight outside the Airheads Kids Zone.
I confidently predict a sellout.


Quote:
Fans are also encouraged to bring their real life significant others to the ballpark that night and enjoy $1 beer or $1 soda during this staple Thirsty Thursday promotion.
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Old 18th January 2013, 10:23 AM   #65
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The plot thickens!
Quote:
Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the man who has been publicly identified as being behind the Manti Te'o girlfriend hoax, called a church friend in early December crying and admitted to duping the Heisman finalist, the friend told Outside the Lines Thursday.
http://espn.go.com/college-football/...irlfriend-hoax

These are some very strange people!
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Old 18th January 2013, 11:13 AM   #66
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According to deadspin, who broke the story, the man behind the fake girlfriend knows Te'o quite well. Ronaiah Tuiasosopo was a sideline guest of Te'o's at a game even.

My 2 cents - Ronaiah Tuiasosopo and Te'o are in a relationship, one they don't want discovered. They created the girl friend so they could tweet and interact with each other online without anyone knowing they were gay. Once it got too big they had to kill her off for fear of being caught in this lie. It was innocent and fun at first but got too big. When they realized people would want to meet this girl the fun was over. First a car accident, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo was actually in a car accident about a month before the "girl friend" was, and then she just had to die. They probably hoped the death of his grandmother would take the lead story and everyone would just forget about the girlfriend over time. I realize that is rather cynical of me.

If you read the full deadspin story there are to many things that would raise alarms for any rational person. Another other option is that he is really gullible.

Quote:
Te'o talks to Lennay nightly, "going to sleep while on the phone with her," according to Sports Illustrated. "When he woke up in the morning his phone would show an eight-hour call, and he would hear Lennay breathing on the other end of the line."
That is one seriously committed hoaxer.

Quote:
Sept. 12, 2012 (afternoon): Te'o is informed of Kekua's passing by her older brother, Koa (Sports Illustrated).
Now you have pretend relatives!?

Quote:
Brian Te'o told multiple reporters that the family had never met Kekua; the Te'os were supposed to spend time with her when they visited South Bend, Ind., for Notre Dame's Senior Day on Nov. 17. The elder Te'o told the South Bend Tribune in October, "[W]e came to the realization that she could be our daughter-in-law. Sadly, it won't happen now."
She dies just before the family is meant to meet her.

Quote:
"Manti and Ronaiah are family," she said, "or at least family friends." She told us that the Tuiasosopos had been on-field guests (of Te'o or someone else, she didn't know) for the Nov. 24 Notre Dame-USC game in Los Angeles. USC was unable to confirm this, but a tweet from Tuiasosopo's since-deleted account suggests he and Te'o did see each other on that West Coast trip. "Great night with my bro @MTeo_5! #Heisman #574L," Ronaiah tweeted on Nov. 23, the night before the game.
They know each other.

full article
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Old 18th January 2013, 02:47 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by Biscuit View Post


That is one seriously committed hoaxer.



Now you have pretend relatives!?



She dies just before the family is meant to meet her.



They know each other.

full article
Could this get any more weird?
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Old 18th January 2013, 04:07 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by Dog Town View Post
Could this get any more weird?
Yes. At least according to an unnamed source:

Fictitious girlfriend faked death to elude drug dealers

Quote:
Manti Te'o has told family and friends that the woman who was the voice of his fictitious girlfriend “Lennay Kekua” called him in December and said she had to fake her own death months earlier to elude drug dealers, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser has learned.
...
According to the account, Te'o asked the woman to transmit a photo to him with a date stamp, which she did, but this did not allay his suspicions and he later told his family and Notre Dame officials about being scammed.
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Old 18th January 2013, 04:31 PM   #69
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wheels within wheels

Originally Posted by Kilaak Kommander View Post
Yes. At least according to an unnamed source:
Please, no more. My brain is about to explode.
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Old 18th January 2013, 06:56 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by Biscuit View Post
Now you have pretend relatives!?
Well who else could have informed Te'o about Lennay's imaginary death? "Lennay" herself?

Remember the case I related early in the thread, about the hoax perpetrated on this forum. "Hellcat"s never-before-mentioned "sister" joined this forum to inform us of Hellcat's "suicide".
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Old 18th January 2013, 08:51 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
Well who else could have informed Te'o about Lennay's imaginary death? "Lennay" herself?

Remember the case I related early in the thread, about the hoax perpetrated on this forum. "Hellcat"s never-before-mentioned "sister" joined this forum to inform us of Hellcat's "suicide".
How could anyone forget! Are you Mat?
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Old 18th January 2013, 11:24 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by Dog Town View Post
How could anyone forget! Are you Mat?
I don't know how anyone could miss it, considering this thread is only two pages and I believe the post I'm talking about is post #2 on the first page.

And I do not know who "Mat" is, but I can assure you I am not he.
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Old 19th January 2013, 03:41 AM   #73
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USA Today story and interview with ESPN

Apparently someone close to one of the hoaxers did have leukemia. Notre Dame hired a PI. Te'o denied knowledge about the hoax but admitted to lying about meeting her.
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Old 19th January 2013, 04:10 AM   #74
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This is very strange getting kicks out of a hoax like this. It detracts from those that really do have serious problems and want to talk about it. Just look at the posts in community and then ask what if we approached these issues from a standpoint of non-belief. There has to be some level of trust involved. I don't know at what point that doubt and challenge should take place. In the case of this football player, it seems to me he got locked into this story and could not escape it without embarrassment and admitting he was an idiot and added some embellishment and confirmation that only made it worse.

An imaginary girlfriend can be perfect in many ways except when it comes to reality. This guy sounds like a hopeless romantic type that just got burned big time. I hope he has learned from this experience.
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Old 19th January 2013, 05:08 AM   #75
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It sounds to me as if he was not sure exactly what was going on in early December. I believe he is telling the truth (other than her early embellishment about meeting her), and I don't think he should be made fun of.
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Old 19th January 2013, 09:01 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by RoseMontague View Post
I don't know at what point that doubt and challenge should take place.
When BS meter is engaged. Many of you, need a new one!
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Old 19th January 2013, 09:26 AM   #77
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This is a story where nobody will come out looking good, except maybe Deadspin for their diligent reporting.

Even if you believe Manti was a victim of a hoax, he admits that he and his family lied about the details of his "relationship" and allowed the lies to be spread far and wide by the media. At best, he's a gullible lier.

The media is also highly at fault here. The deception could have been uncovered at any time with proper fact checking, but the story was too magical too pass up so they just ran with it.

Here's an article with a transcript of Manti's interview for his Sports Illustrated cover story: Manti SI interview

Manti clearly struggles when the interviewer asks him specific questions about his girlfriend, such as when she graduated from college and what her major was. The interviewer admits that they tried to fact check some of the details on Lennay but came up completely empty. Yet they still covered Lennay's death prominently in their cover story.

The local Notre Dame newspaper was even worse, covering the Lennay saga extensively without fact checking any part of it: South Bend Tribune

They offer no apologies:

Quote:
...
Despite being duped, Tribune sports editor Bill Bilinski expressed no regret. “I can’t fault anything we did. If we had known anything different, if there had been a hint or a tip, we would have reported it differently. But there wasn’t.”
...
Tribune editor Tim Harmon said his paper had no idea that the Te’o-Kekua relationship was bogus. “It just seemed to be a fact,” he said Friday. “Everyone here in South Bend believed it. The university, the media, the players, the fans — it was all part of a big season”
...
It just seemed to be a fact. Truthiness must be the new gold standard in the media.

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Old 19th January 2013, 09:47 AM   #78
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There can be some pretty horrifying consequences to playing around with people's emotions.
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Old 19th January 2013, 10:29 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by Dog Town View Post
Nope, but cool story bro!
With all the self-delusion we see around here surrounding Bigfoot, UFO's, and ghosts, why is it so hard to believe that someone would be self-deluded about something normal like a monogamous relationship?
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Old 19th January 2013, 11:25 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by aggle-rithm View Post
With all the self-delusion we see around here surrounding Bigfoot, UFO's, and ghosts, why is it so hard to believe that someone would be self-deluded about something normal like a monogamous relationship?
Why is it so hard for people to doubt a story, someone has lied extensively about? Self-delusion indeed!
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