False Data is the Next Major Trend

You can NOT tell me that the people on Facebook are all “real”. It takes about 10 minutes to find profiles that are clearly fake, with photos culled from stock libraries and fake wall posts written in the ‘voice of’ some fictional character.

In fact, as the shift towards transparency and the force march towards “all our data all the time” continues the response will be – well, MORE fake data.

Already, school kids are posting fake stuff on Facebook so that they’ll look good to a future employer, while they run a “real” profile under a fake name.

The result of transparency isn’t that we’ll share all our data all the time, it’s that we’ll share both real and fake data under different aliases so that no one can quite figure out which one of our online personas is real.

Second Life has shown that you can create a vibrant and trusting culture, one that’s polite and helpful and has norms for behavior BECAUSE you start from the premise that anonymity is the rule, and trust happens one-to-one.

Posting “real data” doesn’t lead to trust, because there’s very little “real data” that we haven’t self-curated or edited, falsified or hidden under different personas.

— Dusan Writer, Through a Prim Lens: Social Media Outlook 2012

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