image I've been guilty of ignoring LonelyGirl15. For months I've been getting emails asking me whether or not she's real. I checked out her YouTube videos, and I'll admit that I found it hard to care whether or not she was real (maybe because I'm getting old), so I never posted about her. (Though there has been a thread in the forum about her for over a month.) But I evidently misjudged her appeal, because this week there have been hundreds of articles about her following the revelation that she was a fake.

For anyone who has somehow missed all the hoopla, LonelyGirl15 (aka Bree) was the screenname of a young woman posting confessional-style videos on YouTube. She was attractive and there was a good amount of drama in her life. (Always a winning formula.) A lot of the drama focused around tension with her extremely religious parents, especially since it was not clear what religion they were. Allusions to Satanist occultist Aleister Crowley suggested they weren't your run-of-the-mill religion.

Many people suspected LonelyGirl15 to be a fake. Some of her videos seemed too self-consciously amateur while others displayed professional editing touches.

The issue came to a head when internet sleuths linked the ip address of her emails to a Hollywood talent agency. Then, early in September, a message appeared on the LonelyGirl website from its "Creators" declaring that they were filmmakers and that the entire video blog series was fiction. Their identity remained unknown until a few days ago when LonelyGirl was revealed to be Jessica Rose, a 19-year-old graduate of the New York Film Academy, and "The Creators" were Ramesh Flinders and Miles Beckett.

So is there anything new or never-before-seen about the LonelyGirl hoax? Well, the fake confessional format certainly isn't new. Examples of that can be found as far back as the 18th century with Benjamin Franklin's Silence Dogood letters. Fake confessional blogs aren't new either. Remember the Plain Layne hoax from a few years back? The only novel aspect of LonelyGirl is that it's the first major fake blog in a video format. In other words, it's not all that new.

The other question is: Will people continue to be interested in LonelyGirl now that they know it's fiction. The LonelyGirl creators certainly hope so, but I'm not sure. People display very different attitudes towards what they believe to be real versus what they know to be false, and it's usually not easy for them to change their attitudes. Specifically, people tend to be forgiving of rough edges in reality, whereas they're more demanding of fiction. (Which is one of the reasons why Reality TV shows can get away with being so low-budget.) So now that they know LonelyGirl was fiction they may think back and say, 'Well, it wasn't really all that great.' However, if the story is good, the audience might stay.


Posted on Sun Sep 17, 2006


Oh god, those eyebrows are killing me. I'm going to have nightmares now.
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Sun Sep 17, 2006  at  01:27 AM
You won't be the only one, Chary! gulp
Posted by Smerk  in  to mischief  on  Sun Sep 17, 2006  at  01:31 AM
all i see is dr. frankenfurter
Posted by kristina  in  san francisco  on  Sun Sep 17, 2006  at  03:46 AM
From the first time I heard about Lonely Girl, I thought she looked MUCH older than her purported 16. I thought she was in her mid-twenties, but the creators of this cock and bull story say she's 19, so I guess that's what she is.

Yeah, those eyebrows are kinda threatening, aren't they, almost as if they should get their own vlog, or whatever the kids are calling those wacky things.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Sun Sep 17, 2006  at  03:50 AM
Yeah I don't care either, though I'm not sure it has to do with physical age as much it does mental age. But that could just be a way to cope with getting older, by accusing other people of having hollow, miserable lives that would be attracted to this kind of thing. I'm going to do it anyway, this was just stupid, and is yet one more reason pop culture will destroy the earth.
Posted by lonewatchman  on  Sun Sep 17, 2006  at  06:29 AM
I had the same thought, Charybdis.
Posted by Big Gary  in  Big Thicket, Texas  on  Sun Sep 17, 2006  at  08:32 AM
I thought she was on Jay Leno last night. I was skipping through & could have sworn I saw her shaking hands with him on a commercial. Anyone watch?
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Sun Sep 17, 2006  at  08:40 AM
I kind of enjoyed them, actually. Even thought I saw them after it was reavealed that they were made-up, I still fooled myself into really enjoying them.

*shrugs* maybe I'm just weird like that.
Posted by Snowy  in  aeternum  on  Sun Sep 17, 2006  at  10:00 AM
I enjoyed them too, Snowy...I don't even get on youtube that much...but every time someone posted one of those "is it/isn't it" things somewhere...I went back & looked at her stuff. Fake or not...it was still interesting.
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Sun Sep 17, 2006  at  12:46 PM
For some reason she annoyed me quite a bit.
Posted by pestinfo  in  NC  on  Sun Sep 17, 2006  at  12:53 PM
I had absolutely NO interest in this the entire time.

Of course, I find pop culture to be boring and stupid, and I could care less about so and so being pregnant, or about who married who (for the third/fourth/eighteenth marriage) and all that crap.

My mom even knew about it, and she's like... wwaaaay out on the internet stuff
"Did you hear about that?"

"Yeah, and I think it looks stupid, and I bet you anything that that news station will say it was a hoax for something or another. meh"

and then I slept because many hours of work have made me a bitter person xD
Posted by Mera  on  Sun Sep 17, 2006  at  12:56 PM
I pretty much share Mera's opinion on this. Like Alex said its not original or even terribly interesting. Why it's getting any attention is anyones guess. Like all pop culture stuff though it'll be gone soon enough.
Posted by Zoe  on  Sun Sep 17, 2006  at  01:28 PM
I'm not interested (too old for teenage angst without the twists of Buffy) but I suspect a big part of her appeal was exactly the mystery of whether she was real or not. I suspect the interest will die off and would have had she been proved to be real.
Posted by Joe  on  Sun Sep 17, 2006  at  06:21 PM
Alex, Aleister Crowley was NOT a Satanist. He was an influential member of the Golden Dawn, among other occultist groups, and was a Freemason. He had unusual (and controversial) views on drugs, sexuality, magic, etc, for his time, but he wasn't a "Satanist".
Posted by Seamyst  on  Sun Sep 17, 2006  at  08:33 PM
Sadly, I've never really heard about her. If she real, then maybe somehow she reappeared! Are you that serious of finding her?
Posted by kat21  in  hawaii  on  Sun Sep 17, 2006  at  08:38 PM
Of course, now we're probably going to be getting people claiming that all this news about her being a hoax is the real hoax, and that it's all a cover-up for when she's sacrificed by her parents to Sid the Demon of Oregano or whatever. This way, people won't wonder what happened to her when she disappears! The sheer cunning of it all!
Posted by Accipiter  on  Sun Sep 17, 2006  at  09:27 PM
hey there, lonely girl, lonely girl, don't you know this lonely boy loves glue (sniff)
Posted by Lonely Boy  on  Sun Sep 17, 2006  at  10:05 PM
I know you all are going to hate me for this, but I can't resist:

Recently some evidence has come up suggesting that the vlogs are not a "hoax" per say, but rather, an ARG or Alternate Reality Game, which is basically a game played in the real world (as opposed to on a computer) where players-in this instance the audience of the LG15 vlogs- watch the videos and hunt down clues that allow them to make predictions and "unlock" the next vlog entry.

Anyway, the evidence came up during the vlog entry titled "Swimming" in which Daniel takes Bree swiming and videotapes it. near the end of the movie, Bree asks Daniel "What ever happened to Cassie?" Daniel denies knowlage of her, and Bree says that Cassie was a girl in Daniel's class. It is implied that Cassie disappeared.

The day after that entry was posted, another video showed up on YouTube posted by someone calling themselves Cassieiswatching. It was a really creepy film in which shots from the "swiming" video are spliced with shots of a mysterious bag being thrown into the pool. It was accompanied by a map showing where the river and pool are, and marking the location of the bag.

YouTube fans are currently trying to find the bag, in the hope that it will reveal more about who Cassie is, etc.

All very creepy and entertaining, anyway.
Posted by Snowy  in  aeternum  on  Sun Sep 17, 2006  at  10:25 PM
I rather like her videos. I find them entertaining, and I'm curious about where the plot is going.
Posted by Razela  in  Chicago, IL  on  Mon Sep 18, 2006  at  01:25 AM
Well, I somehow managed to miss all the hoopla...what Snowy said sounds pretty interesting though
Posted by Owen  on  Mon Sep 18, 2006  at  05:45 AM
So... speaking of blog hoaxes, has anyone found out if that Rance guy was Keith Thompson or not? I just read the story now, and all the detective work everyone has gone through two years ago made me want to know what the outcome was.

Posted by DukeLeto  in  Bucharest, Romania  on  Mon Sep 18, 2006  at  07:24 PM
Why were people so obsessed anyway by some girl they thought was 16, dont people have lives? rolleyes
Posted by angelique  in  Ny  on  Thu Sep 21, 2006  at  12:08 AM
Based on my recent perusal of supermarket news and magazine racks, I'd say only about 5 people have lives at any one time, and everybody else is too fixated on those 5 to do anything themselves.
Posted by Big Gary  in  Plano, Texas  on  Wed Sep 27, 2006  at  04:57 PM
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