Did your Tinder date edit their photos too much and entice you into going on a date you might not have otherwise attended? That’s a “Catfish,” even if all information they offered was truthful. Using clever angles to make yourself appear differently or more attractive? “Catfish.” Adopting a persona closely modeled off of Chris Traeger from Parks and Rec in order to get more Tinder matches? Also, a (very odd and confusing) “Catfish.”
Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum, some “catfishes” will go as far as to invent entire human beings with cleverly orchestrated evidence given to sell the illusion. In extreme circumstances, the tragic death of these fake individuals can even become the centerpiece of a news cycle that (almost) elevates their “boyfriend” into receiving the most prestigious reward a college football player can receive before everything comes crashing down.
So, the moral here is that it’s a broadly defined internet term that goes hand and hand with modern scamming. It can often be hard to tell the two apart, and, well, that’s because a “catfish” is a scam, and (most) scams often involve some degree of “catfishing.”
Getting closer to the topic at hand that inspired this rant… This woman posted to Reddit‘s r/relationship_advice subreddit regarding a “Catfish” that she had been the victim of. After attempting to contact her ex-boyfriend, she received a message back claiming to be him.
One thing led to another, and she sent some (very) private photos to “him,” and once that cat(fish) is out of the bag, you can’t put it back in. Those photos are out there at the mercy of whoever received them.
The “Catfish” revealed itself quickly afterward to be her ex’s new girlfriend, who used the photos as blackmail to try and get the woman to stop contacting the ex-boyfriend.
Readers responded with helpful advice on how the woman should navigate this and offered advice to others to avoid falling victim to the same trap.
“First off I’m sorry that happened. I’m sure it’s a very stressful situation. Unfortunately, there probably isn’t much you can do to prevent her from doing that except for following her request to stop texting him,” advised Herbert-Psilocybin. “If she does end up posting them then you can take legal action; there are laws against revenge porn. But chances are she just wants you to leave them alone. So I’d suggest doing that, and be much more careful about sharing personal pictures in the future; remember, once they’re out there, there’s no taking them back. Good luck with everything.”
“Once they’re out there, there’s no taking them back,” that’s solid advice for anything you might do, or say, or post online. Once it’s out there in the world, there’s no telling who might get their hands on it or use it against you somewhere down the line.
Just because you think a joke is funny to post to Twitter in 2009 doesn’t mean that it won’t come back like a cosmic boomerang to KO your directing career in 2018.
As always, keep scrolling to view screenshots of the referenced thread and reactions. Until the next post, stay salty.