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16 Cardozo J. Conflict Resol. 323 (2014-2015)
We Are Not Who We Pretend to Be: ODR Alternatives to Online Impersonation Statutes

handle is hein.journals/cardcore16 and id is 339 raw text is: WE ARE NOT WHO WE PRETEND TO BE:
Kori Clanton*
The popularity of MTV's reality television series Catfish1 and
the media frenzy surrounding the death of Notre Dame football
star Monti Te'O's fake online girlfriend2 have brought the phenom-
enon of online impersonation to the forefront of public conscious-
ness. A perpetrator of online impersonation is popularly referred
to as a catfish-someone who creates a fake online persona and
uses it to lure the victim into an Internet romance3 or otherwise
deceive others. The term originates from the 2010 documentary
Catfish in which [y]oung filmmakers document [the now-fa-
mous, Nev Schulman's] budding online friendship with a young
woman [named Megan] and her family.4 Angela, the imposter,
created the fraudulent persona of Megan using real online photo-
graphs of model, Aimee Gonzalez.5 As one movie critic once said,
Everyone should see 'Catfish'-not because of the twist, but be-
cause of how powerfully and weirdly it speaks to our time, to In-
ternet culture and the way it allows [for] the controlled illusion of
intimacy.6 Beyond its critical representation of the falsity of many
online relationships, the documentary speaks to the very real and
easily accessible reality of online impersonation. As victim Aimee
* Notes Editor, Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 16; B.A., 2010, The George
Washington University; J.D. Candidate, 2015 Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. The author
would like to thank her family and friends for their continued support and encouragement.
1 Bryce J. Renninger, Catfish: The TV Show Is Making a Name for Itself But Is Its Pre-
mise Unraveling?, INDIEWIRE (Jan. 18, 2013, 1:24 PM), http://www.indiewire.com/article/catfish-
2 Id.
3 Debra Cassens Weiss, Why Internet Imposters are Difficult to Prosecute, (Jan. 18, 2013,
7:46 AM), available at http:/www.abajournal.com/news/article/whycatfishing-is-difficult-to_
4 Catfish, IMDB, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1584016/ (last visited Feb. 4, 2014).
5 Gina Piccalo, Catfish's Photo Fraud Victim, THE DAILY BEAST (Nov. 10, 2010), http://
6 Alison Willmore, Catfish and the Case for (Select) Spoilers, IFC (Sept. 20, 2010, 4:09
PM), http://www.ifc.com/fix/2010/09/catfish-revisited.


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