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February 26, 2004
Orkut.com turns out to be a master's thesis project?
Todd Boyle on the reputation mailing list tips us to this revelation
(not sure what the original source is [hoax warning: be sure to read this post til the end]
Orkut.com, a popular social networking Website which has attracted the attention of the some of the Internet's biggest names, was revealed today by its creators to be an elaborate "reality Internet" project to form the basis of a master's thesis.
"We figured we couldn't keep it secret much longer anyway," said Orkut Buyukkokten, after whom the distinctive blue-colored meet-and-match site was named. "I didn't think we could do it this long in the first place, actually."
This of course explains Orkut's much-maligned terms of service:
"We had to have something pretty clearly worded or [the thesis author] wouldn't be able to publish the findings after everyone found out," said Buyukkokten. "I'm actually amazed that more people didn't completely refuse to use the service."
Now that the secret is out, what will happen to the service? "Oh, we're expecting a lot of attrition, but the bills are paid until the end of March, so what the hell? Anyway, I have my data." The thesis author added that all the data will be anonymized, "I promise."
[Update: turns out the "original source" is Mark Schalofski's fake news site, HACT. Thanks, "Anita":http://www.anitarowland.com/ !]
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