Here's a prank that definitely rates as one of the more inventive (and cruel) student pranks of recent years. The set-up occurred a week before a NCAA game pitting UC Berkeley against the University of Southern California. USC's starting guard, Gabe Pruitt (pictured), met a UCLA coed named Victoria online. They traded messages via AOL Instant Messenger. She sent him her picture. He sent her his. They arranged to meet after the game on March 4.
The sinker occurred during the March 4th game. When Pruitt appeared on the court, UC fans started to chant "VIC-TOR-IA, VIC-TOR-IA." Their chants continued throughout the game, escalating to include the recitation of Pruitt's phone number. Transcripts of Pruitt's IM chats with "Victoria" were also circulated throughout the crowd (including classic lines such as "You look like you have a very fit body... Now I want to c u so bad"). Pruitt was visibly shocked, missed a bunch of free throws, and ended up 3-for-13 from the field.
It turned out that "Victoria" didn't exist. She was the fictional creation of a couple of UC fans. Pruitt had been punk'd. Understandably, some USC fans aren't too happy
about the prank. (So are they plotting revenge?) (via Deadspin
and Schneier on Security
By coincidence, a similar prank
was in the news last week (though it was far creepier and more disturbing in its implications). Five boys created an online profile of a fictitious 15-year-old girl they called "Jessica." To their surprise, a 48-year-old guy contacted "Jessica" and started to chat her up. The five boys played along, and eventually lured the guy into meeting Jessica in real life. But when the guy showed up for the meeting, it was the police, not Jessica, who were waiting for him.
Both these incidents go to show that you never really know who you're talking to on the internet. Or as Reality Rule 6.3 from Hippo Eats Dwarf
states: "On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog." (It makes more sense if you see the cartoon
it refers to.)
Jan. 6, 2004: Vixen Love
Sep. 6, 2005: Skype Prank