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Does anyone know if this has ever been done before?
#1
I was thinking of conducting a kind of practical joke and I would guess that someone surely must have done this before.

But, maybe not.

So, I wanted to ask you all if anyone has ever heard of someone doing this before?

Anyway, here is the basic idea.

I thought of starting a message board and "faking" about 20 members. But, I would be the only real member and would just adopt various personalities and characters and match them up with different User ID's.

I would make some suitable posts and try to make it look like for all intensive purposes there were actually about 20 different users. I would have one member who was blatantly racist and hated all black people. And if that wasn't enough, I would also have a Neo-Nazi member who not only hated black people, but also hated Jews and Gypsies and Homosexuals and more than just hated them, he actually wanted to have them all exterminated and he actually campaigned to start a political party and get voted in as the "leader" of the country's ruling party so that he could seriously see his policies come into fruition and begin exterminating all those people.

The third member would be black and she would have some incredibly crazy fights with the racist and both of them would want to kill the Neo-Nazi and vice-versa.

So, I don't think I need to round it all out. I'm sure you get the picture. I would also have some men who hate women and some women who hate men and some right-wing extremists who would fight with some left-wing extremists and some people in the middle who would fight with everyone.

But, all these people would not - in fact - exist. They would all be me - making phoney posts. I would even ban some of my fake users and then some of them would apologize and beg to be let back in. Talk about a troll? I guess this would be the ultimate troll!

I would guess that these 20 fake people would have to make about 6 to 12 posts each. But the number of posts made by each would have to be extremely random. Otherwise it would be too easy for my "members" to figure out what was going on.

The "joke" would be open-ended. I have no idea how far it could be taken. In fact, the joke might well be to see just how far it could go.

But, I would have to figure out just how many posts I would have to make and over what time frame, and then how to get one or two "victims" to come and register in the belief that all these people were, in fact, 20 different real people.

Well, I'd like to ask your opinions. What do you think? It would be a fair amount of work. But do you think it could be worth it? There would obviously have to be some kind of "pay-off". Maybe I could get a friend to start a second board and then we could have some "board wars" and see just how far we could get our members involved in making war with each other.

Of course, I wouldn't want it to wind up causing anyone any real pain or suffering. But, just to have a laugh.

I'm guessing there would have to be some further thought put into this in order to refine it and I'm also guessing that I would never really go through with this. But I'd really like to ask you two things:

1) Have you ever heard of anyone doing something like this?

2) And, if so, how did it work out? And ... what did they use in order to create the "funny" element?

3) What do you think the odds are that "Mark" is the only real person here besides you and all the other members are just "Mark" faking various different personalities for the fun of messing with us? If true, wouldn't that be hilarious?




(P.S. I know the correct phrase is "intents and purposes" -- not "intensive purposes". That is just a silly little joke I copied from the TV show "King of Queens" that I thought some of you might get a laugh from).
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#2
I actually moderate at several boards, some public, some private. While I know of several admins that use puppet accounts as a means of having a forum 'life' outside their forum 'job', I have never known of an admin puppeteering to stir up interest in their own board or for a prank.

I do, however have a couple of puppets: @Wildcard and @news puppet that I assign to various user groups and test plugins and mods with.

As far as advice (which you didn't ask for) I would suggest that you think this through as it could potentially backfire on you. When people discover they had been tricked it could cause a lot of hard feelings- especially if someone got it in their minds that you somehow meant the awful things you have planned to say as a joke.

But, yeah it actually does sound fun. Wink
Wildcard is awesome.
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#3
Thanks Mark.

As usual, you are correct insofar as I definitely should have asked for advice.

I said that I would probably never go though with this because I was worried there could be several real serious problems develop. It sure does warrant some further thinking.

Of course, if there was a way to figure out how to avoid those problems, it might still be possible to go ahead. And if it was well thought out, it might still be possible to have some fun with it.

But, in order to make it both "safe" and "fun", it would clearly require some very highly creative minds behind it.

At present, it just might sound like an interesting idea for a book. I'm guessing someone could write a fairly good book about some high school kids who did this as a prank and maybe it could backfire or maybe not. Maybe it could backfire initially but then bring them all kinds of fame and fortune?
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#4
... this one time, at band camp...
"Yeah. I understand the mechanics of it, shithead. I just don't understand how this is any less retarded than what I'm suggesting." - Kiley; Housebound.
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#5
(12-14-2012, 12:10 PM)AliShibaz Wrote: I would make some suitable posts and try to make it look like for all intensive purposes there were actually about 20 different users. I would have one member who was blatantly racist and hated all black people. And if that wasn't enough, I would also have a Neo-Nazi member who not only hated black people, but also hated Jews and Gypsies and Homosexuals and more than just hated them, he actually wanted to have them all exterminated and he actually campaigned to start a political party and get voted in as the "leader" of the country's ruling party so that he could seriously see his policies come into fruition and begin exterminating all those people.

Have you considered how much time and effort it'll take to create all these characters? Going off my experience on SB and here, i find the majority of members have similar views on certain topics (racist posts, personal attacks and disrespect for other users, aidz, etc), so if and when someone comes along and starts calling other members a bunch of morons or something, or hurls insults based on another members gender, skin colour, nationality, sexual preference etc, then you'll find the s/mods sort it out, as well as other users making it known that such-and-such is a complete moron, and pretty soon that user will either get banned or will leave of their own volition. I'd be very, very suspicious if i found a forum where everyone hates everyone else, because the 'real' members (if you manage to recruit any) would probably say something, or leave because they don't want to be a member of a forum where all the stereotypes hang out. I mean, would you spend time on a forum where you have everyone squabbling constantly? I wouldn't. I'd think what a bunch of pricks and go elsewhere. That's just my opinion though.

(12-14-2012, 12:10 PM)AliShibaz Wrote: I guess this would be the ultimate troll!

Who would you be actually trolling? 'Real' members? Why?

(12-14-2012, 12:10 PM)AliShibaz Wrote: Of course, I wouldn't want it to wind up causing anyone any real pain or suffering. But, just to have a laugh.

If you're intentionally trolling with a fake forum with fake members, isn't this bound to, at the very least, upset someone?

(12-14-2012, 12:10 PM)AliShibaz Wrote: 3) What do you think the odds are that "Mark" is the only real person here besides you and all the other members are just "Mark" faking various different personalities for the fun of messing with us? If true, wouldn't that be hilarious?

No it wouldn't Ali! Anyway, mods have access to ip address logs so it's easy to determine who's real or not.

Ali, i'm not saying your suggestion is a bad idea. I'm just wondering how you'd hope to recruit real members to a forum full of arguing idiots? You may find you only attract lesbian separatists, or vnn members. Eventually, all lies lead to blowback, and the level/extent of that is something to seriously think about. I think if you're going to go ahead with this prank, it may be expedient to refine your goals and methods. Aside from that, good luck with it. Yay Smile
"everyone wants to win but no one wants to drink a bucket of sj's piss" - bob5695
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#6
You make good sense. I can't argue with anything you have said.

But, I will just say it may still be a good idea for a book - a work of fiction.

It may have to take a different slant and a different point of view.

But, as a fiction novel, I think it could be a lot of fun.
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#7
As a work of fiction like a novel, absolutely, because you're only limited by your own imagination. Because you send me an average of 10 dissertation-length PMs a day ( XD ), i've been privy to the magic that lies in your head, and i think you could pull it off. I've said before that you should give writing a go so i'm glad to see you getting the ball rolling. If you find the amount of work involved overwhelming in any way, you could always write some short stories while you find your particular style and hone it. It's also usually easier to edit shorter stuff, which may help when it comes to editing an entire novel. Smile
"everyone wants to win but no one wants to drink a bucket of sj's piss" - bob5695
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#8
I thank you very much for your vote of confidence.

But, I'm sorry to say that I just do not feel I am up to the task of serious writing.

I once read the words of a successful writer who said that in order for someone to be a successful writer, they had to write every day for several hours every day.

I'm afraid that I just have other things I like to do during my days (like working on my current computer software project - my Windows Toolkit). As a result, I just don't feel that I have the time to do any other serious projects.

But if you would like to use my idea for a novel, you are most welcome to it.
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#9
(12-14-2012, 12:10 PM)AliShibaz Wrote: I thought of starting a message board and "faking" about 20 members. But, I would be the only real member and would just adopt various personalities and characters and match them up with different User ID's.

I believe karpackie tried that once.
He wanted to be member of a forum where he wouldn't get banned, and lots of people would be nice to him, so he created his own.

But if you try it, then in the end the joke is on you, since it is a lot of work for very little purpose.
Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.
- Robert A. Heinlein
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#10
i would be nice to krapakie... i mean, after all... he is a leet coder and all. Rolleyes

ali, fortunately for you, there is a perfect forum for your little plan: stormfront.org having been a member on that site for over a year now with about 20 different names, i can assure you, the lulz are a plenty.

the hardest part about doing what you are talking about is controlling the habits associated with the way you communicate. grammar, style... and even mood can easily be tied to you by people who pay attention to detail. now, the odds of anyone spotting regular styles of writing and typing are low. most people won't pick up on it unless you have a distinctive way of typing like i do... (usually no caps, custom punctuation, made up words, etc.) ...but even then, there will be a few self proclaimed genius-major jackass and a few moderate assholes that will attempt to make a connection where none exists... the best thing to do is to mock them and lay slight traps that direct their suspicions onto other regular forum members... you do this by stalking your prey... it's time and effort, but the shits and giggles are well worth it.
"Yeah. I understand the mechanics of it, shithead. I just don't understand how this is any less retarded than what I'm suggesting." - Kiley; Housebound.
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