What's Trending: What is 'catfishing' and is it here to stay?

Scamming people who are looking for love online is certainly in the news. It’s called “catfishing” and that’s What’s Trending.

Manti Te'o's story about his fake Facebook girlfriend has captured the attention of the world. But the origin of the term “catfish,” aka the act of pretending to be someone you're not on social media, has been around for a few years.  It was first coined by this man, Nev Schulman, in his 2010 documentary called “Catfish.”

The film captured his relationship with a woman named Megan, who turned out to be not exactly who she claimed.  Unsettling and jaw-dropping was how critics described the documentary.

"I thought I fell in love with Megan, but Megan was really Angela," says Nev in the documentary. "I was heartbroken."

But why is catfishing called "catfishing"?  It all comes down to one scene in the documentary about the woman who perpetrated the hoax. Here's how her husband describes her:

"There are those people who are catfish in life and they keep you on your toes, they keep you guessing, they keep you thinking and they keep you fresh. I thank God for the catfish because we'd be boring and dull if we didn't have somebody nipping at our fanny."

Now MTV has a TV show based on the movie and the epidemic of catfishing.

Who knows what more we'll learn Manti Te'o and Lenay Kekua, but what we do know the term catfish is here to stay.

 

 

Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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