Article in SF Weekly about folks who hack the Friendster world by creating profiles for wacky online aliases instead of their "real" selves. Needless to say, the folks at Friendster.com aren't crazy about this.
The site has attracted legions of young creative types: DJs, artists, media people, Burning Man freaks, and other hipsters -- particularly in tech-savvy San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York. Not surprisingly, many of them went to great lengths to make their profiles unusual, or above-it-all and drenched in irony. Some, like Batty, took it a step further by not being themselves at all.
Batty and numerous other Friendsters routinely violate the site's user agreement by creating fictional characters as profiles instead of, or in addition to, their "real" profiles. These "fakesters" portray themselves as everything from inanimate objects like the World Trade Center to celebrities like Paris Hilton to historical forces like War (which lists its profession as "resolving disputes"). Emboldened by their masks and often preferring the weird over the normal, fakesters are turning Friendster on its ear. They link to other users they've never met in real life, flouting the site's original intent of connecting people through verifiable personal relationships. Many compete to link to as many other users as possible, so that their fictional characters function as social hubs in the Friendster network.
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