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Am I real or not?
April 21, 2004 7:31 PM   Subscribe

Hot Abercrombie Chick? Maybe not, "Something was amiss, and I had to prove that Hot Abercrombie Chick was either a) a totally different girl, b) a guy or c) some team of people creating an identity. And I was devoted to outing this fraud."
posted by cedar (51 comments total)

 
Well, now I can sleep nights.
posted by jonmc at 7:33 PM on April 21, 2004


What I'd really like right now is a really big question mark to accentuate how little I understand what the fuck this is about.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:39 PM on April 21, 2004


Just one more reason I don't read blogs. Well, except MeFi. And Slashdot. Oh, and maybe k5 sometimes. Right. Thats it. I swear.

Isn't "guy uses pics of girlfriend to pretend to be girl on the internet" like one of the oldest tricks in the book?
posted by slacy at 7:41 PM on April 21, 2004


If it's a hoax, or marketing thing, why give it even more publicity?
posted by amberglow at 7:42 PM on April 21, 2004


I'm glad your sleeping better Jonmc. Really, I am.

Nonetheless, I consider how the web polices itself to be interesting. It's my hope that at least a few others do also -- otherwise I wouldn't have made this post.

You may not. That's all well and good but it seems somewhat rude to jump in with your snark on from the jump. Has it ever occurred to you that it's not necessary to spit out every thought that enters your mind?
posted by cedar at 7:45 PM on April 21, 2004


MetaFilter: It's Not Necessary to Spit Out Every Thought That Enters Your Mind™
posted by JollyWanker at 7:49 PM on April 21, 2004


MetaFilter: It's Not Necessary to Spit Out Every Thought That Enters Your Mind™


The exctinction level event for that one arrived a long time ago.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 7:57 PM on April 21, 2004


The backstory is covered a bit by Cameron (guy that built blogdex) in the originally linked post.

It's basically that some girl came out of nowhere and started a blog on blogspot. She leaves comments and trackbacks on zillions of other blogs, especially war-related ones, and thanks to a few blogs that list their most recent comments, she kept showing up on blogdex. It was a blogdex bomb of sorts. Whether or not the person writing the blog is really who they claim they are, they've been gaming the world of blogs since they arrived.

A twist to the story is that there are all these photos of a hot young college girl attached to the blog, and the blog is written by an intelligent person, but from when I first saw the site, they seemed to be anti-war but linking and trackbacking to blogs that were pro-war. Who knows if the person writing it really is who they claim to be, but I'm thinking it's a guy playing everyone for a fool.
posted by mathowie at 8:02 PM on April 21, 2004


I think the obsession with "outing" people on the internet is pretty strange. The only analog I can really recall is how a select group of popular male athletes in my high school were obsessed with proving who was gay.

The potential for anonymity is one of the hallmarks of the internet, and while I don't necessarily believe in wholesale deception, I think it's often rude how folks spend their spare time trying to debunk.

In many cases, the hoax is set up deliberately to be debunked, because that will drive traffic to the prankster.
posted by rocketman at 8:05 PM on April 21, 2004


Isn't "guy uses pics of girlfriend to pretend to be girl on the internet" like one of the oldest tricks in the book?

Just because you fell for that doesn't mean we did. Ha ha. No but really, we're not talking about a little publicity, we're talking about a scam that's drawing a massive audience, mostly by gaming Blogdex. I'm not going to start toting silver six-shooters, but after a week of seeing her every day I just couldn't take it anymore. One person can't write that many comments AND be a philosphy major.

Plus, the evidence is irrefutable.
posted by cameron at 8:11 PM on April 21, 2004


Since there happens to be a sort of pile up occurring, I'll just state that I found this interesting, especially since I hadn't yet heard of algorithm for determining gender of an author. Anybody have any more links/info on that? Some proper test data would be especially nice; I am aware of the possibilites of extracting information from writing styles, but this seems a bit too simplistic.
posted by fvw at 8:12 PM on April 21, 2004


Pile up on the poster that is, not the Hot Abercrombie Chick. I'm all for pile ups on the Hot Abercrombie Chick. Or maybe I should rephrase that… Anyway, what I wanted to say was: Interesting post, thanks.
posted by fvw at 8:15 PM on April 21, 2004


There is a very good reason why Mark Pilgrim's blogging category is named Those that resemble flies from a distance.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 8:20 PM on April 21, 2004


The Gender Genie thinks the author of this passage is: male! (Female Score: 150, Male Score: 255). ymmv.
posted by shoepal at 8:25 PM on April 21, 2004


Yeah, Shoepal, but I just tested it on a (female) friend's last blog entry and it rated it male, 1314 to 814, so not gonna trust that all too much.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 8:30 PM on April 21, 2004


Yes, Dr John. And we all know that Mr. Pilgrim wouldn't possibly allow personality conflicts or silly vendettas concerning obscure syndication formats sully his impartial punditry. Pointing out Pilgrims category name only highlights the epitome of the 'pot calling the kettle black' cliche.
posted by cedar at 8:37 PM on April 21, 2004


Here are two statistical NLP projects that caught my attention lately (the first one inspired Gender Genie):

Koppel, Argamon, & Shimoni: Automatically categorizing written texts by author gender and,

Benedetto, Caglioti, and Loreto: Language trees and zipping (full paper here)
posted by cameron at 8:43 PM on April 21, 2004


I just like the way how this person (he/she/it/whatever) was caught comment spamming other people's sites. I innocently and politely asked about this in one of his/her/their 'comments box' and was was promtly IP banned with the comment deleted.

Make of that what you will.
posted by tapeguy at 8:53 PM on April 21, 2004


cedar: I felt that Mr Pilgrim's category name is an excellent term for blogging about blogging, and that this situation calls to mind the reasons why.

Whether he actively participates in that swarm of flies or not has no bearing upon the name itself. The name's still appropriate, even if you consider him a hypocrite for participating in what he may be criticizing.

I say "may be criticizing" because, after all, flies serve their purpose in the grand scheme of things and he may be commenting on that, since from a distance bloggers do look like a swarm of flies, but you could argue that they serve their purpose in the grand scheme of electronic things, and it may just be an appropriate analogy without any derogatory nature but in the end it's JUST A DAMNED CATEGORY NAME that's appropriate to a thread which really has nothing to do with the guy who came up with the category name and who I linked to just out of politeness 'cause I was mentioning his category name and has no bearing on anything he's done or said.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 9:07 PM on April 21, 2004


You may not. That's all well and good but it seems somewhat rude to jump in with your snark on from the jump. Has it ever occurred to you that it's not necessary to spit out every thought that enters your mind?

Sure, but my snark was releveant. This whole little "expose" seems kinda silly. I mean, whaddaya gonna tell me next, that the phone sex operators aren't the hot chicks in the ads?


Nonetheless, I consider how the web polices itself to be interesting.

Policies? What they commited the crime of luring suckers in with a fake hot babe? Good thing everyone's on the case or no one would be safe.
posted by jonmc at 9:08 PM on April 21, 2004


Reminds me of this old nugget:
"Welcome to the Internet - where the men are men, the women are men, and the boys are FBI agents. But some of the men are really women. Enjoy!"
posted by spazzm at 9:10 PM on April 21, 2004


The Gender Genie thinks the author of this passage is: male! (Female Score: 150, Male Score: 255). ymmv.

gender genie overwhelmingly thinks of me as a male or unknown. only a few of my blog entries come up as female. i don't use my real name online either, but i'm still a girl.

people are just pathetically desperate for the next kaycee nicole to come along, to make them feel all smart and sherlockian. all it does tho' is make them seem bored and lifeless.
posted by t r a c y at 9:17 PM on April 21, 2004


Did I miss the part where I'm supposed to care that someone used an alias on the internet, cedar
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 9:23 PM on April 21, 2004


Amanda has responded to these allegations: Hoax? Very interesting....
posted by cameron at 9:24 PM on April 21, 2004


Jonmc: "This whole little "expose" seems kinda silly."

Did you read the thread or the links? Whether or not this person is real (in the singular/female sense) doesn't matter a great deal. However, if this person gamed Blogdex to the extent that some believe, it's worth mention.

Yeah, not real important in the grand scheme. But interesting to some.
posted by cedar at 9:27 PM on April 21, 2004


John Kenneth Fisher: "Did I miss the part where I'm supposed to care that someone used an alias on the internet, cedar"

Gee, John. I don't recall telling you that you should care.

Do you care?

No?

Then the obvious question would be, why are you taking the time to express your disdain for something you don't care about?
posted by cedar at 9:32 PM on April 21, 2004


Cameron, I hope you mean 'responded' as in 'avoided'.
posted by tapeguy at 9:39 PM on April 21, 2004


if this person gamed Blogdex to the extent that some believe, it's worth mention.

Fair enough, but what's that got to do with it being a "hoax"? A comment spammer is a comment spammer... whether they're a guy pretending to be a girl seems irrelevant. People bullshit about themselves on blogs all the time, that's why they're so great.
posted by Jimbob at 9:50 PM on April 21, 2004


So wait... where do I click to see her naked?
posted by banished at 9:55 PM on April 21, 2004


not to make anyone paranoid, but wouldn't it be great to start a controversy about your website being a hoax by pretending to be someone else revealing your "hoax", and then eventually "prove" that the original site was a hoax, only to reveal later that the hoax was the hoax?

that would be something.
posted by magikeye at 10:08 PM on April 21, 2004


I just legitimately am not getting the part of the identity issue that is objectionable.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 10:33 PM on April 21, 2004


What Banished said. People should be getting worked up because the site's name is misleading, not because it is a hoax. (Oh god no, she's (he's) ruined the blogdex! There are worse things in life.)
posted by chunking express at 10:57 PM on April 21, 2004


Again, I'm not sure how important this really is in the scheme of things. At the worst, we have a website written by someone using a pseudonym and gaming Blogdex to ensure a high hit rate, either to play the "anti vs. pro war" bit or to perform a bit of viral marketing for Abercrombie.

Big friggin' deal. Compared to, say, the war in Iraq, the domestic collapse, or the increasing animosity against the U.S., this rates right up there with losing an eyelash.
posted by FormlessOne at 11:11 PM on April 21, 2004


t r a c y: people are just pathetically desperate for the next kaycee nicole to come along


Not really. If youre a blogdex reader you're probably wondering why this blog is always at #1. Hopefully, now that its been outed blogdex won't be such a mess. If it wasnt for the blogdex spamming no one would care.

The bigger story is considering Cameron (who runs blogdex) knew this was deliberate spamming and abuse of his site why doesnt he block the domain? He likes to keep a hands off apprach to blogdex which is only helping it devolve into crap like this and an outlet for fake viagra ads.
posted by skallas at 11:12 PM on April 21, 2004


a) Never heard of her before now.

b) Waaay too much time on your hands, sir.
posted by majcher at 11:34 PM on April 21, 2004


I don't see much of a crime. I find the male/group identity theories unconvincing as well.

As a risible/notable controversy I give this maybe a 2 out of 10.
posted by dgaicun at 2:07 AM on April 22, 2004


Alright, I admit, if it was that naked Tron guy I wouldn't be so quick to defend.
posted by dgaicun at 2:16 AM on April 22, 2004


shoepal, thanks for the gender genie link, fun, it thinks I'm a male too.
posted by dabitch at 2:27 AM on April 22, 2004


Oh-oh-oh. I better confess now before I'm investigated and outed. I am not really a termite, nor do I really live in a pyramid.
posted by pyramid termite at 3:06 AM on April 22, 2004


This is getting serious...
posted by Termite at 4:21 AM on April 22, 2004


dabitch, t r a c y - Me too. Either MeFi girls throw like boys, or this thing is way off base.
posted by taz at 4:22 AM on April 22, 2004


Does anybody really know what sex she is?
Does anybody really care?
posted by dg at 5:27 AM on April 22, 2004


'The Gender Genie' is hopeless. I am, apparantly, female. Despite me feeding it with a passage with several specific references to my gender.
posted by metaxa at 5:27 AM on April 22, 2004


dabitch, t r a c y - Me too. Either MeFi girls throw like boys, or this thing is way off base.

i suspect it may be off base due to being dated. the computer program is based on studies that first started being published in 1975. i spent an hour hopping from blog to blog testing male and female entries and they were almost all wrongly identified. i can't believe the touted 80% accuracy of the program.

Does anybody really know what sex she is?
Does anybody really care?


if so I can't imagine why.

thanks dg, now i'm going to be humming that song all freaking day, heh.
posted by t r a c y at 6:06 AM on April 22, 2004


I'd hit it.
posted by eastlakestandard at 6:23 AM on April 22, 2004


that would be something.

Yes, but what exactly?
posted by GhostintheMachine at 6:56 AM on April 22, 2004


'The Gender Genie' is hopeless. I am, apparantly, female.

I remember that when we had that thread, it got me wrong too, along with a lot of other people. Has anyone ever asserted that the thing works even 50% of the time? It almost seems like it's a better indicator in reverse.
posted by soyjoy at 7:14 AM on April 22, 2004


So if this breaking accusation proves true, and this girl is not so much a girl but a guy then the only thing this does is render invalid (or at least uncomfortable) a small group's pathetic internet crushes on people they will never meet?

Good that everyone's on top of this.
posted by xmutex at 9:02 AM on April 22, 2004


Maybe the real issue here then is a bunch of guys who had the hots for Hot Abercrombie Chick and are now tortured by the possibility that they engaged in sexual fantasies about a male?
posted by dg at 3:16 PM on April 22, 2004


This "investigation" reeks of sexism, as if there's no way a hot college girl could possibly know enough about computers to manipulate her blogdex ranking.
posted by gyc at 9:08 PM on April 22, 2004


It's not like setting up a blog account takes any radical intellectual agility. Click, click, done. And for what? Now I can read all the vacuous trials and tribulations of some regular shmoe? Big deal. "Today I talked to Aaron, and he was like so mean to me. I think I'll write a poem about it."

Today I drank some beer and talked to some people and had some grand thoughts about the world that nobody's ever thought before. And I will bless all you peons with paragraph after tireless paragraph describing it all in detail. Or better yet, I'll write a poem about it in the style of e.e. cummings, because I hate my keyboard's SHIFT key and standard grammatical structure is just too constraining for me.

Thwap, thwap, thwap...

I just don't understand what all the fuss is about.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:51 PM on April 22, 2004


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