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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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this is what we call homework avoidance

How did I not know there was Munchausen by Internet?

From the site:

Based on experience with two dozen cases of Munchausen by Internet, I have arrived at a list of clues to the detection of factititous Internet claims. The most important follow:

1. the posts consistently duplicate material in other posts, in books, or on health-related websites;
2. the characteristics of the supposed illness emerge as caricatures;
3. near-fatal bouts of illness alternate with miraculous recoveries;
4. claims are fantastic, contradicted by subsequent posts, or flatly disproved;
5. there are continual dramatic events in the person's life, especially when other group members have become the focus of attention;
6. there is feigned blitheness about crises (e.g., going into septic shock) that will predictably attract immediate attention;
7. others apparently posting on behalf of the individual (e.g., family members, friends) have identical patterns of writing.

I wonder if this will make it into the next DSM?

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Oh wow, I forgot about that one! I remember staring at it the first time around. Reminds me I need to check the fake lj suicide community when I can remember the name of it again where it debunks stuff. It's a kind of addictive fascination.

I think Kaycee Nicole is the most well-known example, but yeah. It's been around. Then there was that lady who faked a secondary male persona for a number of years, and then when she got tired of keeping it up told everybody he'd been killed in the World Trade Center on 9/11. She even kept "his" journal going and responded to comments people left in his memory on the anniversaries. I think it was 2004 or '05 before she was outed.

Crap, what was her name...

Okay, I feel like I recognize that vaguely by reference, but not sure. Interesting.

Also reminds me of that blog/article entry about a woman who pretended to be a fireman and started an online relationship with a woman, but the woman's friends (and a writer!) outed the chick. Hmm. That was in the last year as well.

Wait. Is the same one? Involving--of all people--Harlan Ellison?

It's a great term, isn't it? I first heard it a few years back when there was one of these things in X-Files fandom (sounds a lot like the one above, except a little more mature in execution). One of the early doubters on that list was an actual newspaper reporter who was able to pretty quickly debunk the story. And then, added bonus, she pitched it to her editor and got a little feature article out of it....which is where I first heard Munchausen by Internet.

And hey isn't it great that the internet makes things so much easier these days? No more hanging around hospitals or inducing symptoms! just type, type, type away!

It certainly makes life-debilitating illnesses so much more convenient.

I--don't get that.

I knew there was Munchausen by Internet! I'm way more familiar with Munchausen by Crazy Person, though.

I saw a really good post once on the top ten signs that someone is lying on the internet, but it's friends-locked now.

*collapses laughing*

Ooh, damn, I wish I could see that one. I bet it's interesting.

Fascinating & crazy. Here's a pretty famous one for you: Anthony Godby Johnson.

Oh, you make me happy! *clicks to read*

Did you catch any of the svmaria thing? Related and kind of fascinating.

*smiles* Funnily, Jenn and I were the first two commenters saying something smelled fishy in Denmark.

You know, I'm so familiar with Munchausen by Proxy that I forget the root is ... just plain Munchausen's. Munchausen by Sockpuppet Proxy? I knew a chick who always gave her roleplaying characters multiple diseases and disorders, then threw huge, flouncing tantrums if her character wasn't the center of all attention, at all times, being pitied and babied by the other characters.

I'm not sure what was more disturbing. Her, or the number of people who obliged, over and over again.

Bat. Shit.

Wow. That's--wow. Okay, I have to remember that. Sockpuppet Proxy. Because it's *true*.

I think fandom is particularly frequently hit by this, because we want to be kind and loving and inclusive because we all got picked last for teams as kids. And let's face it: we're fangirls. we love drama. So we're more like to be easy marks for seriously disturbed people. Especially since unlike in RL social circles, online friends are less likely to talk to one another about it, which means the same person can hit multiple targets in the same venues before people catch wise.

Yep. And true. And on the internet, it's so easy to do that.

you have totally enabled _my_ homework avoidance as well, because wow, this post and the comments are amazing! The sometimes-weird emotional dynamics are one of the reasons I don't get terribly involved in fan communities and such - never thought of this kind of behavior as a parallel to Munchausen's IRL, but makes so much sense.

Oh, you know not how lucky you are to have avoided encounters with the syndrome in your online fannish life up to this point. If I had a nickel for every rare debilitating disease or persecuting step-parent to be triumphed over that I've been hit with on message boards...

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