Bless my buttons! Wired (via book excerpt) has cited MF re: sockpuppets! July 30, 2014 1:44 PM Subscribe
AS SLEUTHS STARTED PICKING APART THE STORY, SOME BELIEVERS SUFFERED GENUINE ANGUISH BECAUSE OF THE CYNICISM.
Then, on May 19, the user “acridrabbit” posted a simple question: “Is it possible that Kaycee did not exist?” Not only were there some inconsistencies in Kaycee’s story—some odd-sounding descriptions of how the doctors talked about leukemia, the difficulty people were having in finding an address for flowers and cards—but it also appeared that nobody had ever met Kaycee in person.
Immediately, some MetaFilter sleuths started picking apart the story, even as Kaycee believers, like “bwg,” appeared to suffer genuine anguish because of the cynicism: “STOP! STOP!! STOP!!! this is deplorable. it’s making me sick to my stomach! i have spoken to kaycee on the phone, as well as her mother, numerous times. i can assure you kaycee was quite real.” But the truth was that Kaycee simply didn’t exist. Debbie Swenson admitted the next day that Kaycee had been a fabrication.
Excerpted from Virtual Unreality: Just Because the Internet Told You, How Do You Know It’s True? by Charles Seife.