Lonelygirl15 was one of the first viral sensations of the early days of YouTube, a very popular video-blogger. Quite late into her fame, she was exposed as a fake produced by a professional production company (the better to please you, my pretty). In writing about the early days of YouTube, I explained that one effect of early viewers knowing that core YouTube fare might be or even was probably faked was a cynical (if “fun”) mode of reception definitive of the medium and its moment: that everything was fake, or at least could be. While a converse response to this universal media skepticism has found itself today in a twee return to the sincere (and even sometimes a sincere return to the sincere), this heartfelt search for trust sits in stark relief against the seedy untruths that litter the internet stage.
See More Fakes:
- “Facebook and Google Won’t Let Fake News Sites Use Their Ad Networks,” Kaveh Waddell, Nov 15, 2016.
- “The Increasingly Unproductive Fake,” Alexandra Juhasz, No More Potlucks, 2009.
- #100hardtruths-#fakenews: a primer on digital media literacy