I realize it's somewhat old news by now, but I felt like posting on the lonelygirl15 hoax because I just got a "friend request" on MySpace, which I use in case old high school or college friends want to see what I've been up to (since they don't rat you out like the fuckers at Finkster). I've gotten friend requests from such folks before, but this time the requester was obviously a creepy old gay guy -- their main profile page had a picture of a hot, tawny, brunette coed with make-up and hair done, in a brilliant red dress, but with a natural smile on her face and photgraphed in her room (as a professional shot would raise suspicions even among patsies). Their list of 8 friends who appear on the main page is split evenly between boys and girls, equally nondescript human beings, drawn from a total group of 13 friends in all. The only personal info given is a female name, and some line about wanting to enjoy the city she's in -- no warning signals of high-maintenance. Am I to believe this laid-back, fun-loving paragon of Persian-ish pulchritude wants to be my friend, out of the blue? What did your parents teach you about "If something seems too good to be true...?" Or what did any thriller movie teach you about a setting being "quiet -- a bit too quiet?"
I first clicked on the "see all of ____'s friends" link to see if maybe she were a friend of a friend, but I got the "error" page. After successfully viewing many other people's friend lists, I tried again for the girl in question -- still the error page. Then I looked to see if the link was broken or something -- not broken, but tampered with! This person had rigged the link to automatically show the "error" page -- now why would some nonchalant hot babe want to hide her friend list from the world? It's too bad this jackass didn't think further ahead, as I just took the URL from someone else's friend list and pasted in the ID of the "hot babe" in the relevant part of the URL. And bingo, there it was -- 663 friends in total, not 13 as it said on the profile page, and every single one of them male, not split even as on the main page. Most of the males were youngish, of course, but probably 1/3 to 1/2 of them had shirtless or flexing photos as their main picture. Not even the randiest girl would collect a harem of so many young boys, and also lack a single female friend. No no, my friends: this was definitely a creepy old gay guy. Nothing wrong with gay guys, of course -- just the creepy old manipulative ones.
What really astounded me was that this guy was trying to dupe me despite the fact that 1 of just 2 blogs I'd written on my profile page treated this exact topic! After I signed up in May, within two weeks, I'd gotten several obviously bogus hot girls trying to add me to their list of young boys, and I wrote in the blog that anyone who was stupid enough to meet up with these non-hot non-girls deserved whatever they got -- they'd probably win the next Darwin Award. Now, "stupid" I mean in the Machiavellian sense -- not in the IQ sense -- as a synonym for gullible. Thank god for my grandmother's Japanese genes: individuals adapted to low-trust societies are better prepared to defend themselves against those who would manipulate them. I know it's those genes because my mother's side isn't particularly suspicious of others' motives, nor is my paternal grandfather. My East Asian grandmother, in contrast, has never socialized with anyone in her neighborhood -- not in some dangerous ghetto, but in the middle of nowhere, Ohio! She even mistrusts the only other old Japanese woman in the area. In fact, her own children aren't allowed to visit without notifying her in advance ("I'm not expecting a knock on the door today"). Overly suspicious? Perhaps, but at least she'll never be bilked out of her life savings by some televangelist huckster, and her grandchildren won't be suckered in by the traps of online con-men.
I don't pretend that this strategy can't occasionally backfire -- in 7th grade, my best friend's family was ethnically Chinese from Malaysia, and he related the story of his parents' first Halloween in the US. His mother thought the costumed teenagers were trying to break into her house or hold her up, so she chased them off her property charging after them with a baseball bat! Now no one got hurt, and sure, false alarm, but we excuse that inevitability when we say "Better safe than sorry."