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Dr. Petroski
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Manti and the Catfish Fry

on Thu May 24, 2018 9:09 pm
During the 2012 NCAA FBS football season, traditional power Notre Dame returned to their glory days, reaching (although ultimately losing) the BCS national championship game. The team was propelled all season by all-American linebacker Manti Te’o and his inspirational story. During the season, in the week leading up to a game against rival Michigan State, Manti’s grandmother and his girlfriend Lennay Kekua—who had been dying of complications with leukemia—both passed away within 24 hours of each other. Heartbroken, Manti decided to play in the game against Michigan State and recorded 12 tackles, one sack, and a fumble recovery, leading his team to a 20-3 victory. Part of the reason Manti played in the game rather than returning home to Hawaii were the inspirational words of Kekua, who told him that no matter what happened to her, he should continue playing football.

After the season ended, details began emerging about Manti’s girlfriend. It seems she may not have actually died of leukemia as was reported during the season. It also seemed that she may not have actually existed in the first place. Instead, it came to light that Te’o was part of an elaborate hoax (most likely as the victim of the hoax), which was designed to make him believe that Lennay Kekua actually existed, created by Ronaiah Tuiasopo. Pictures of his girlfriend existed, but the actual person who those pictures were of did not know they were being used. And Manti had never met his girlfriend face-to-face.

Known as a “catfish,” this is defined on Urban Dictionary as “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.” The phrase was coined by documentary filmmaker Ariel Schulman, who showed a similar story in the 2010 movie Catfish and has worked on a MTV series of the same name. As discussed in Chapter 5, this is just the kind of media coverage that could lead people to think that this is a common phenomenon. But is it?

Online, you can be anyone you want to be because of the restriction of the visual information that would tell you that a person is not who they say they are, right? It is hard to ignore the fact that what happened to Manti Te’o would not have happened face-to-face (or at least would have been incredibly difficult). The lack of nonverbal cues in many online platforms does lead to possibilities for deception that would be hard, if not impossible, to pull off face-to-face. However, as Cornell professor Jeff Hancock has pointed out, social media actually seems to lead to less deception overall, compared to face-to-face interaction.

How common do you think this phenomenon is? Are people constantly getting deceived? Or is the perceived prevalence of the "catfish" just a common fear that is a knee-jerk reaction to evolving notions of relationships? More to the point...is this something that is exclusive to online relationships? Could it be that those that fall prey to catfish situations are simply naive about relationships and the ways they develop? Could this also be a function people mistakenly making the assumption that online relationships are different from face-to-face relationships? What do you think?

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Dr. Petroski
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KimDBrowneRegular1
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No Catfish Here

on Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:58 pm
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I think this phenomenon of catfishing is very prevalent to the point there is a TV show called Catfish. Cat fishing not only happens with young people, older people also get deceived. The worst is the person who believes they are in a relationship and sends thousands of dollars to person they think they are in love or involved with. The sad part is, they don’t realize that they have been duped until they are out of money. Then the catfisher becomes a ghost and your savings are gone, with no way to get your money back. I don’t think they are naive about courtship, they are just lonely. The catfisher always uses a picture of someone is way more attractive than they are in real life. The show shows you ways to do your own little investigation to find out if the person you have been texting and talking to for months is the person they say they are. Online relationships are different from Face to Face because they person you're communicating with is in front of you and now a picture on your phone or computer.
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Catfishing is the new common?

on Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:33 pm
Catfishing has become a common phenomenon. More and more people are coming out as having been catfished and a popular tv show has centered around it. I do not think every person on the internet is a catfish, but the prevelance rate is high, so I would caution about finding someone online. I do not believe that the people who fall prey to these catfishers are naive about relationships, I just think they are vulnerable and the catfishers see that vulnerability and take advantage of it.
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Re: Manti and the Catfish Fry

on Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:21 pm
I think Manti is a minority in deceptions like these. I think younger people find it easier to pick out fake profiles do the quality of images and content of profiles The most vulnerable demographic to catfishing are usually older adults who are widows or divorced later in life. Caitfishers prey on their loneliness to create a bond with them and get them to surrender money a lot easier due to the emotional connection these victims crave. we are social creatures and we crave intimacy and knowing someone loves us. it is because of this that rational but lonely people fall victim to these types of cons. Sometimes even when people start to get the hint they may even deny it just so they can continue believing the fantasy. An abstract online relationship where someone is listening to you every night is a tempting illusion when you cant find that companionship in the real world.
stefanatosn1
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Manti- Teo

on Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:43 pm
I believe Manti' Teo was a fool for believing he had a real girlfriend over the internet without ever meeting her. I feel like "catfishing" is common now a days and that people online can be easily deceived. More and more people are switching to online meeting sites or apps and it is very easy to make a fake account. Catfishing is more likely to happen online, but it is not exclusive to the online world. Someone can pretend to be someone their not in real life also.
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Re: Manti and the Catfish Fry

on Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:20 pm
I have to echo what most of my class mates have said, Cat-fishing has become this absurd phenomenon and was mainstreamed when the MTV TV show Catfish came out. There were people who were being deceived and hoaxed into thinking they had found an amazing person to create a relationship with. In some cases many people were conned out of money and love and were then completely ignored after. With the popularity of online dating, tinder, and various dating apps the field for cat-fishing has incredibly increased and that leaves many people vulnerable. People including Manti should look for red flags and suspicious behavior of people claiming to be someone and falling in love with them via the internet, it's always better to be cautious than hurt and betrayed.
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Manti and the Catfish Fry

on Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:31 pm
I certainly agree that catfishing has steadily increased over the past couple of years due to increased use of social media sites and new shows broadcasting it, making it relevant, but I don"t agree that it deception happens on meeting websites as well as social media websites happens more than deception when meeting face to face. a lot of people still get catfished on a daily basis meeting face to face. Because of the high rate of catfishing online though, currently it builds a bad stigma on people using websites depicting how all people are catfishes. I think that is untrue.
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Re: Manti and the Catfish Fry

on Sun Jun 24, 2018 1:41 pm
Manti' Teo should have met his girlfriend in person first before anything else. However, it seemed that the impact put him at the peak of his career. This just goes to show that catfishing can happen to any and every one. I believe it happens all the time, and those that do not get catfished are the smart ones that have met their girl/ boyfriend in person. I feel as if this is commonly exclusive to online relationships because like it was previously stated, it is hard to catfish someone in person. People do not only have to be naïve about relationships and the way they are supposed to develop, to fall prey to them. The other person could simply be someone else altogether and the difference would never be known. I do feel that online relationships are different from face to face relationships because people simply behave differently face to face than they do online. However, a simple solution to eliminate some of the catfishing would be to video chat before meeting, so a person can get a feel of how they speak (out loud) and behave before actually meeting them in person.
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