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The Cut-and-Paste Personality
February 18, 2008 7:42 AM   Subscribe

These identity thieves don't want your money. They want your quirky sense of humor and your cool taste in music. Among the 125 million people in the U.S. who visit online dating and social-networking sites are a growing number of dullards who steal personal profiles, life philosophies, even signature poems. Dude u like copied my whole myspace, posts one aggrieved victim.
posted by subgear (38 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
I had a post I wanted to put up you guys! Draft is:

"These identity thieves don't want your money. They want your quirky sense of humor and your cool taste in music. Among the 125 million people in the U.S. who visit online dating and social-networking sites are a growing number of dullards who steal personal profiles, life philosophies, even signature poems. Dude u like copied my whole myspace, posts one aggrieved victim."
posted by jaduncan at 7:48 AM on February 18, 2008 [5 favorites]


Anyone who uses "u" should be dragged from their home and shot.

Or have their their whole myspace copied, whichever is easier.
posted by aramaic at 7:57 AM on February 18, 2008 [9 favorites]


This is fascinating and a bit depressing. I went in to the online dating scene this past year and I had high hopes, that just sort of slowly deflate as time went on. This makes me less enthusiastic about trying it again.
posted by piratebowling at 7:57 AM on February 18, 2008


Do we know you?
posted by jonmc at 7:58 AM on February 18, 2008


matteo?
posted by sourwookie at 8:02 AM on February 18, 2008


half read article, highlight, click, switch window, click, paste ...

He says he wanted women to know he was funny but was too lazy to think up anything.
posted by R. Mutt at 8:03 AM on February 18, 2008


tl:dc&p
posted by iconomy at 8:06 AM on February 18, 2008 [7 favorites]


Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life's cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another, you have only an extemporaneous, half possession
posted by zennie at 8:13 AM on February 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Dude u like copied my whole myspace
My favrit tunes & mi face
Ur lame & u suxx0r hard
i bet ur fat n full of lard
U dont diserve my ink n frends n hair.
The guy i stole from dint care.
posted by ardgedee at 8:15 AM on February 18, 2008 [15 favorites]


Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life's cultivation

But my own gift is crap. It's like a matching tie and handkerchief set. I wanna re-gift it and get the BMW instead!
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:27 AM on February 18, 2008


What if one's gift is for appropriation?
posted by R. Mutt at 8:40 AM on February 18, 2008 [4 favorites]


DICKS EVERYWHERE
posted by Greg Nog at 8:45 AM on February 18, 2008


This is a great idea. I love being discovered as a fraud on the first date.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 8:48 AM on February 18, 2008 [4 favorites]


I once copied a phlebotomists MySpace page for my own use and the goth chicks came out of the woodwork.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 9:16 AM on February 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: DICKS EVERYWHERE
posted by FunkyHelix at 9:21 AM on February 18, 2008


I just stole your mefi profile.
posted by jeblis at 9:31 AM on February 18, 2008


Link to the oft-copied Hugh Gallagher essay. Brilliant.
posted by farishta at 9:33 AM on February 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: too lazy to think up anything.
posted by schoolgirl report at 9:40 AM on February 18, 2008


Link to the oft-copied Hugh Gallagher essay. Brilliant.

Hell, I think John Hodgeman stole this guy's entire personality.

Btw, I use u, ur, w/, w/o, b/c, 4, 2, @, and all sorts of other shorthand abbreviations when writing electronically. Text messaging, dude. My phone is a Nokia 6010. It takes 2 clicks for "u" - 8 clicks for "you." Everything on my MySpace page is stolen, so go for it. And I do support the 2nd amendment, so u be careful when u come to my door.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:44 AM on February 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Anyone who uses "u" should be dragged from their home and shot.
Or have their their whole myspace copied, whichever is easier.


For a while it was really fun to replace the images MySpacers were hotlinking from my images directory (before I locked it down) with goatse and other fun stuff, because their technical aptitude was such that it took them weeks -- sometimes MUCH longer -- to figure out how to fix it. Then that became tiresome. Ah, funny MySpacers and your stolen images...
posted by bitter-girl.com at 10:07 AM on February 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Anyone who uses "u" should be dragged from their home and shot.

I thought the same way about "lol" until recently, but when a friend is complaining about something that I find particularly inane I now find this a far more satisfying response than to actually dignify them with a reasonable reply.
posted by emperor.seamus at 10:25 AM on February 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


I now find this a far more satisfying response than to actually dignify them with a reasonable reply.

Reasonable replies are for the weak, and dignity is reserved for the elites who already know what the score is, not the lumpenproletariat that waste time with foolish questions and opinions.

Break time is over, back to the smelters!
posted by aramaic at 10:38 AM on February 18, 2008


If you're so uninteresting that you need to steal other people's personalities to meet people, maybe suicide is a better solution.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:48 AM on February 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


> I love being discovered as a fraud on the first date.

If you're lucky, so does she.
posted by ardgedee at 11:15 AM on February 18, 2008


If you must write prose or poems, the words you use should be your own; don't plagiarize or take on loan.
posted by nicepersonality at 11:20 AM on February 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


Feel free to like copy my whole mefi profile page.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:23 AM on February 18, 2008


I can't imagine ever wanting to copy someone else's profile, but I steal jokes from MetaFilter pretty much constantly, and without shame or guilt.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 11:25 AM on February 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think we (and the writer of the article) are sort of conflating two different phenomena. Stealing jokes or turns of phrase is hardly odd, and I think we've all done that from time to time. It can show a lack of creativity, but I think it's a forgivable sin (unless you're, say, a stand-up comic). The weirdness starts when somebody copies someone else's entire biography or list of likes and dislikes. That's just bizarre, and I would call it a sign of a deeper disorder.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:48 AM on February 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think the writer of the article (and we) are somewhat conflating two different phenomena. Stealing posts or turns of phrase is hardly odd, and I think we've all done that from time to time. It can show a lack of creativity, but I think it's a forgivable sin (unless you're, say, a stand-up comic). The weirdness starts when somebody copies someone else's entire comment or list of likes and dislikes. That's just bizarre, and I would call it a sign of a deeper disorder.
posted by HVAC Guerilla at 11:55 AM on February 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Some recently cut and pasted from my (rarely read, but showing up very high in some google searches) blog. Why I don't know (google ads?), maybe the unique juxaposition of terms (frenching fiberglass). Surreal. (blog post and hijacker) Obviously self linked.
posted by 445supermag at 11:57 AM on February 18, 2008


My old dating profile was stolen four times. Funnily enough, it was men on the site who discovered the copying and mentioned it to me. The dating service always took the impostors down so it never really seemed like a big deal.
posted by astruc at 12:31 PM on February 18, 2008


mrgrimm: "Btw, I use u, ur, w/, w/o, b/c, 4, 2, @, and all sorts of other shorthand abbreviations when writing electronically. Text messaging, dude. My phone is a Nokia 6010. It takes 2 clicks for "u" - 8 clicks for "you." "

T9. Let me show you it.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 1:08 PM on February 18, 2008


Text messaging, dude.

Except this isn't text-messaging on a cell-phone. It's typing on a keyboard. Three keystrokes for "you" vs. one for "u". If you can actually type worth a damn, the difference in hundredths of a seconds is negligible. If you can't, well, all the more reason to practice. The upshot is that you aren't immediately considered a complete idiot in the eyes of the reader. That may or may not mean anything to you, however, or your target audience may be made up of like-minded idiots. In which case, disregard this advice.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:18 PM on February 18, 2008


Ideas improve. The meaning of words participates in the improvement. Plagiarism is necessary. Progress implies it. It embraces an author’s phrase, makes use of his expressions, erases a false idea, and replaces it with the right idea.
posted by Bugg at 1:33 PM on February 18, 2008


I hate to think that someone is using my profile more successfully than I am.
posted by Hugonaut at 2:07 PM on February 18, 2008


Isn't it true, though, that some species copy successful mating behaviors from others? Or am I just making up a factoid to prove my point? Well, at least I'm not copying someone.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:26 PM on February 18, 2008


Is there a tool that converts complete sentences into text-messagese, so I can be edgy and cool like everyone else with a cellphone?
posted by lukemeister at 3:15 PM on February 18, 2008


I remember someone copied my LiveJournal once. It was a shabby attempt, seeing as they posted about a year after my original posts were made, and kept my embedded videos in place (which had lead-in intros that included the date it was uploaded) while the posts themselves would reference the video, like "here's my performance from early this week".

Sadly, the dude ended up with about 100 more LJ friends than I've ever had. Apparently, if I whored myself out more, I'd be quite popular.

So, I kinda feel for these people, but there's no good way to put a stop to it without incessantly googling one's self and sending e-mails to the necessary service (i.e. MySpace) to remove the fakers.
posted by revmitcz at 3:24 PM on February 18, 2008


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