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Deaf boy in a wheelchair hoax
Posted: 15 October 2012 07:37 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Seems sad somebody would do this. Story here

A deaf boy in a wheelchair, and the man who invented him.

MEET Dave Rose. He’s a quadriplegic born with severe athetoid cerebral palsy and profound deafness. Except the boy who inspired millions was never born at all.

It’s a complicated story. ‘Dave on Wheels’ captured the imagination of people around the world with his colourful and uplifting Twitter presence.

His account @daveonwheels, and his sister Nichole’s account helped tell the story of a quadriplegic with an incredible outlook on life.

His Tweets, often humorous and always touching, were shared around Twitter by millions of people including Kim Kardashian.

But then, suddenly, after Nichole Rose announced her brother had passed away in hospital, a sickening and elaborate hoax slowly unravelled.

Some anonymous tips and, eventually, the outing on theChive.com, revealed that Dave Rose’s picture belonged to someone else and his life belonged to the imagination of a grown man.

“[Dave is] A character, a part of my psyche,” he wrote when backed into a corner.

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Posted: 16 October 2012 07:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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There’s been several similar stories over the years.  I think some people have even been done in for fraud, because they’ve received “donations” to help with their terminally ill relation.  Snopes has a whole section dedicated to these sorts of scams on their site.

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Posted: 16 October 2012 07:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Yes I have read similar stories before come to think of it. I guess this story is the latest I’ve seen of this sort of thing.

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Posted: 16 October 2012 08:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Even if they’re not doing it for donations, they like the attention. Variant of Munchausen Syndrome (feigning disease for attention) I suppose.

Still, when folks like this get caught out, they never apologize for it directly. Instead you get a weak-sauce half-apology, where they say things like ‘I’d done it for so long I thought the stories were real’ or in this case ‘part of my psyche’, etc.

So yeah… anyone famous/tragic on the Internet who is ONLY on the Internet (no news interviews, etc) is generally suspect. Or should be.

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Posted: 17 October 2012 12:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I think you’re right on the Munchausen’s analogy, as has been said this sort of thing happens quite frequently, a person either claiming to have some illness, or disability, or some other kind of hardship, wasn’t there an allegedly transgender author a few years back who turned out to be a fraud? And as you say, it either seems to be a percieved need for attention, sympathy and emotional support, or in some cases a desire to defraud people out of donations, or a combination of the two. In either case it’s a pretty horrible feeling of betrayal for the people who’ve admired and supported the writer/blogger etc, only to find they’re not what they claim, and all the alleged hardships were made up.

The insincere apology thing pops up elsewhere, reminds me of the various journalists who’ve been caught out making up quotes, or fabricating stories wholesale, and the various politicians who get caught making outrageously false, offensive or misleading statements, or get making off with public funds (we’ve had plenty of dodgy politicians in the UK in the past few years!), the apology usually ends up looking like that of a petulant, spoiled child, full of sentiments like ‘well I’m sorry you can’t recognise my greatness!’, or the sort of ‘All I did was X, Y and Z, I don’t know why everyone’s so upset!’.

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