A waxy Rogen
January 14, 2019 3:39 AM   Subscribe

Chloe Condon, a developer advocate and well-known tech speaker, was linked to an Instagram post where a stolen photo of her at a conference was mis-used. She called the person out on Twitter and the in the ensuing Twitter thread it turned out that the individual involved had a history of faked media (including a photo with a, uh, strangely shiny Seth Rogen and a Pinterest board of photoshopped images of Mitt Romney.) She's since written a post talking about this very strange rabbithole on Medium.
posted by secretdark (24 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
 
Yay tin eye ... I’ve been in the path of fakes faking “evidence” since eighth grade, and I thought nothing would surprise me any more.

I can’t imagine what his employer thinks of all this and faking up a write up interview in an easily findable house organ. And dude, beyond the crazy of faking being stalked, fake targeted and fake kidnapped by a woman you never met, keep your distance from the defenseless wax statue.
posted by tilde at 4:57 AM on January 14, 2019


*irrational approach to instagramming your life by faking ... “crazy of faking” was lazy pre-coffee short circuit.
posted by tilde at 5:38 AM on January 14, 2019


The amount of effort he spent photoshopping being a pretend tech savvy influencer conference goer type person is much more that it takes to actually be a tech savvy influencer type person.
posted by Damienmce at 5:50 AM on January 14, 2019 [7 favorites]


I watched the Green Hornet movie. That might actually be Seth Rogen
posted by delfin at 6:13 AM on January 14, 2019 [2 favorites]


Tempest in a Tee shop?
posted by sfenders at 6:33 AM on January 14, 2019


I can’t imagine what his employer thinks

Do we even know if his company/role is real at this point, or is it turtles all the way down?
posted by thecjm at 6:36 AM on January 14, 2019 [7 favorites]


In case you weren't sure, the internet is still weird.
posted by chillmost at 6:36 AM on January 14, 2019 [3 favorites]


This must have been so jarring. I feel like people just slightly younger than me (I'm 34) have grown up with no distinction in their mind between stock photo models and personal images. Anything you find fair game to make a meme out of, and then anything's fair game to use anywhere, because what are the chances one of 7.7 billion will find you. I can honestly kinda see how this guy saw that photo and made up a fake story in his head that made him sound desired. It's an evocative image with a lot dramatic ambiguity. I'm not saying it isn't a weird and creepy thing to do, I'm just saying it's maybe 6.8 on the internet weird/creepy scale.

I really laud her for being sympathetic to the individual in question, wishing him help instead of harm. And for making engaging, informative hay out of a squick experience. That being said, she introduced me to the term ambivert, and I may not forgive her for that.
posted by es_de_bah at 6:49 AM on January 14, 2019 [11 favorites]


Do we even know if his company/role is real at this point, or is it turtles all the way down?

One of the images in the 2nd OP link Twitter thread appears to show a published article by other people from the company which he's photoshopped his picture and bio onto.
posted by XMLicious at 7:07 AM on January 14, 2019 [1 favorite]


I feel like maybe I shouldn't be replying and maybe this post shouldn't exist and that the most compassionate thing to do for all affected parties would be to scrub the internet of all evidence.
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 7:14 AM on January 14, 2019 [1 favorite]


I feel like maybe I shouldn't be replying and maybe this post should[n't] exist and that the most compassionate thing to do for all affected parties would be to scrub the internet of all evidence.

I was very much in two minds about posting it. It's so bizarre. What if the person involved just needs help? Then it definitely shouldn't be everywhere. But if they're just a scammer? (They do seem to have scammed money for IT work out of people.) I don't know.
posted by secretdark at 7:21 AM on January 14, 2019 [1 favorite]


because what are the chances one of 7.7 billion will find you

Well, when you're doing business presentations with photos you didn't pay for, surprisingly high, judging by the number of times we've gotten fined in the last few years.

We spend a lot of our time in the Marketing department educating the people we support that Images Off the Internet Aren't Free, Don't Use Them Unless We Paid for Them.
posted by emjaybee at 7:22 AM on January 14, 2019 [12 favorites]


no doubt, emjaybee. I was talking perceived risk rather than real. Fact is, you're probably drawing from an increasingly smaller pool based on culture, class, race, nationality, access to technology etc. And the less time you spend digging, the more likely you're using an image that algorithms have pushed to the top of the search pile, so probably a person with real online presence. I'm glad companies are finally being responsible about this, but 'private internet user' and 'responsibility' don't show up in the same thought bubble.
posted by es_de_bah at 7:37 AM on January 14, 2019


The amount of effort he spent photoshopping being a pretend tech savvy influencer conference goer type person is much more that it takes to actually be a tech savvy influencer type person.
Truth. Though, appearing as a tech-savvy influencer conference goer type is an archetype all unto itself. I feel they're like reality tv stars/Paris Hilton/Kardashians etc: they're famous for proclaiming they are tech-savvy influencer types. Get enough folks to believe you and conference invites are comped, you get speaking gigs, etc. step 3 ? because man, conferences feel like MLM rah-rah rallies of the converted.
posted by k5.user at 8:15 AM on January 14, 2019


The clear line between "this is a normal person actively choosing to behave badly and deserves a dunking" and "that person has a pathological condition and deserves help" is a bit of a fiction. It hinges largely on whose needs we prioritize (could be our own), as constrained by the tools at our disposal.
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 8:49 AM on January 14, 2019 [5 favorites]


"Oh he's troubled and he needs help, not condemnation" seems to be the go-to excuse for Men Getting Caught Behaving Badly. I mean it worked for Kanye, so it should work for this guy.
posted by happyroach at 9:18 AM on January 14, 2019 [6 favorites]


Mashable ...
Several people who claimed to know Medlin personally DM'd Condon to tell her he's lied like this for "as long as they've known him."

"I think the pure happenstance that he posted this photo of me, and I was alerted of it, and that my followers started investigating is pretty surreal," she reflected.

It appears that Medlin has been stopped — for now.


Makes me wonder if the liars I knew ever grew out of it.
posted by tilde at 9:45 AM on January 14, 2019


To be plain, I think everyone deserves help and wish everyone happiness—for our sake and theirs.
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 9:49 AM on January 14, 2019


Seth Rogen iz pastede on yay
posted by rewil at 9:51 AM on January 14, 2019 [7 favorites]


> The amount of effort he spent photoshopping being a pretend tech savvy influencer conference goer type person is much more that it takes to actually be a tech savvy influencer type person.

This is incredibly wrong.

Consider the years of hustle and grind, social skills and personal capital necessary to reach the ranks of social media tech influencer and tech conference luminary. Contrast that the trivial effort these shitty photoshops needed. I'm years off my Photoshop jockey days and I could still knock them out in ten or fifteen minutes each, half an hour each if you wanted them cleaned up and lighting matched. Somebody who has no clue what they're doing would still be able to generate a couple each evening after work.

I don't think it's useful to try to create some equivalence of effort between Condon's hard work and Medlin's fakery. She got her attention and support only due to years of effort, networking, and personal credibility. He got his attention by swiping pictures.

The reasons why he does this are open for discussion. Personally I think he needs help but I also don't feel much sympathy for the guy; before he gets help he needs to be stopped and pulled off the Internet. Condon is handling this with a grace that belies her awareness that she's a women on Twitter confronting a man who might or might not be connected to other sealions and genuinely risks her career and personal well-being with this callout. Medlin is handling this with the agility of a guy who can jump right back into the game with a new pseudonym.
posted by at by at 9:53 AM on January 14, 2019 [11 favorites]


What we put online is a highlight reel - no one is posting about how badly their break-up is going, how they don’t understand taxes/401k, or how they have a bunch of unpaid parking tickets

I will never believe this despite its obvious truth, and it will kill me.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:54 AM on January 14, 2019 [1 favorite]


no one is posting about how badly their break-up is going, how they don’t understand taxes/401k, or how they have a bunch of unpaid parking tickets


Not publicly no. In smaller gripe groups, yes. *Unless they are monetising it.
posted by tilde at 10:34 AM on January 14, 2019 [1 favorite]


He’s definitely troubled and needs help but I don’t know what scrubbing it from the internet so he can just do it again would accomplish.
posted by bleep at 6:39 PM on January 14, 2019


What we put online is a highlight reel - no one is posting about how badly their break-up is going, how they don’t understand taxes/401k, or how they have a bunch of unpaid parking tickets

Ahem.... We do that over here.
posted by chillmost at 4:52 AM on January 15, 2019


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