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September 1, 2003
Public Fakester protest against Abrams
There's a note going around the Fakester circuit trying to organize a real-world protest against Friendster CEO and scourge of Fakesters, Jon Abrams.
All culture jammers, freedom of expression activists, Cacophonists, and exhibitionists -- your help is needed for a Mass Fakester Manifestation in meatspace!
This will be an art action and protest (hooray!) against Friendster at a public appearance by notoriously humorless Friendster CEO Jon Abrams (hissss!) in San Francisco on the eve of Thurs., Sept. 4th between 6pm and 7pm at the Commonwealth Club at 595 Market St., to agitate for our rights to use artificial identities on their site. It will a street party of noise, color, masks and silly hats -- and of course our righteous Fakester ire.
I keep shaking my head in disbelief at this. There is no Fakester revolution, because Fakesters were only funny in the context of a site not devoted to Fakesters. As I asked earlier about the Fakester-only sites
"How could anyone see the fun of inserting Jesus and San Francisco into a living social context, and then conclude that a site with only fake bios, in an inert and non-social setting ... will preserve any of the value of the fakester movement?"
This protest suffers from the same problem. Giant Squid, a popular Fakester character, was flat-out funny, well worth tuning in to, but Giant Squid won't be showing up at this protest, just the person who created it. Did these people never see the Wizard of Oz? Never let them see behind the curtain -- the creator is much duller than the creation.
Even if the result of the Fakester genocide damages the site through weakened social fabric, and, as Danah Boyd rightly notes, a loss of humor
(welcome back from the playa, db), and Abrams then relents and re-admits the Fakesters, the battle's already been fought and lost -- having Fakesters officially supported will be as much of a buzz kill as having them banned.
The only real event worth watching for is whether the mass tampering with the organic ecosystem of Friendster as it existed with Fakester's damages Abrams' business. That would get the attention of people building future generations of YASNS software.
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