Perhaps you've heard of Zilla Van Der Born, the dutch woman who used Photoshop to deceive her friends and family into believing she was on a trip to East Asia while never leaving her apartment.
This may sound very familiar to readers of “Fakebook: A True Story Based On Actual Lies”. After all, the book recounts the six-months in 2009 that my Facebook profile became a complete work of fiction.
Everyday I posted new updates from a disastrous cross-country hike, and not a word of it was true. I never faced hate-crime charges in Pennsylvania Dutch Country, nor did I sway a young, beautiful Amish girl into joining me in my travels. I never wandered nude through the desert while suffering from rabies-induced hallucinations, nor did I fall victim to silver-tongued cult recruiters. I most definitely didn’t get a bow-tie tattoo.
And yet, with little more than status updates and bad Photoshop, that’s exactly what people believed. So when the story circulated about Zilla's Fakation, everyone wanted me to weigh in.
Well, I have a confession to make. I was behind that hoax to.
Yes, I faked being a dutch girl who faked being on vacation.
Is it weird that I went pretended to be a cute 20 something girl? Frankly, it would be weird if I didn't. I mean, I’m the preeminent author of the creeps-who-create-false-online-identities community, and pretending to be an attractive 20-something girl is like a jazz standard for us. It’d be like a singer never learning "Happy Birthday."
So there you have it! I fooled you all again. But for real—check out the book. It's funny, weird, and interesting. It also has pictures.
Dave Cicirelli is an author and artist who specializes in hoaxes as social commentary. You may have bought a Fake Banksy from him in Central Park, or you may have have seen on Facebook that he disappeared into Amish country under nefarious circumstances.
Fakebook: A True Story Based On Actual Lies recounts his six-month long social media hoax, and all the online and offline drama it created.
Publisher's weekly called it a "knock out." No big deal.