Why Do People Pretend To Comment As Someone Else?

I received an email from Tyler Cruz about comments made on my blog using his name. It seems someone is going around pretending to be him and making lude and rude comments to make Tyler look bad.

One of my ‘haters’ is apparently spoofing at me in your comments. Take a look at Comment Signatures – Yay or Nay for example.

This is one reason why I dislike letting people comment without registering accounts. He is tarnishing my reputation and I’m very angry about it.

Pretending to be someone else bad enough. However, to purposefully use that person’s name to make them look bad is pretty low. I decided to find out if anyone is commenting using my name and found one case. Someone pretended to be me in a comment about John Cow shutting down because of legal problems. The cow exposed him as a fraud but I still wasn’t very happy to see my name being used in a comment that I didn’t make.

My question is what drives some people to do this kind of stuff? Why do people pretend to comment as someone else? Is this a widespread problem? I hope not because I would hate to require people to register before they can comment.


75 thoughts on “Why Do People Pretend To Comment As Someone Else?”

  1. I suppose in specialized situations it is bound to happen. People were wondering if you were the one asking him to shut down his site. Because your so well known, and connected in a way to that site it isn’t surprising that someone would mess around like that. That said I hope it doesn’t catch on. Really lame.

    1. that

      is

      not

      nice,

      Though

      they

      could

      have

      the

      same

      name!

  2. Simon says:

    That would be sad. Some people are so stupid sometimes. 😐

    1. simon says:

      Maybe they just have the same name πŸ˜†

      1. cooliojones says:

        Riiight. But definitely not the same bank account! πŸ˜€

  3. John, I have seen people pretend to be you on other blogs.

    Pretending to be someone in someones blog is less a problem than identity theft.

    This is what happens when you dofollow and allow people to post without an account or moderation.

    1. mason says:

      they should make a plugin that allows people to register URL’s with names. this way, it will be harder for people to blog with one name and connect it with a website.

      1. NSpeaks says:

        Instead of names, mybloglog should identify commentors with email ids so that its nearly impossible to fake as somebody. Just posting the same name and url changes your identity to any blogger you know which is wrong.

  4. I think the answer to this is to use a throwaway e-mail address for comments. When you use your advertised e-mail address, you are looking for trouble. Beyond that, it is super lame, and can lead to many issues, including people vouching for others, plugging a site, and giving a reference, all maliciously.

    DevDad

    1. Really though, using a throw away email wouldn’t help because then people could think your real comments are the fakes because you’re not using your public email addy.

      1. I think it is a real solution for blogs that have avatars enabled. For others, registration would be the only real option to completely (almost) isolate it.

        DevDad

    2. cooliojones says:

      Sad to even think you’d have to do that. We’ll have to stay tuned to see if this becomes a widespread phenomenon.

  5. I’ve also encountered that problem – in a way. A few years back some little prick stole my account info from about 10 sites I was a member of and went crazy with horrible posts, and they also stole my yahoo chat info and boy oh boy that was a fun mess to clean up.

    Luckily I knew who was doing it and I sent him a nice little script in return, last I heard his data was fried 😈

    1. This is a huge issue on industry forums and the like. People get your login information for one place, and use it everywhere (because everyone hates having 1000 different passwords). Well respected posters end up getting caught up in a scam, because some idiot decides to solicit under their username.

      DevDad

      1. Here’s the catch, since I am smarter than the average bear, each account had a different password, and none of them were shared with anyone. The guy who got them is just good at cracking accounts.

        1. Lewis Empire says:

          I’m the exact same. Different login and passwords for everything.

          1. cooliojones says:

            How do ya’ll remember all of that info? Sometimes it’s hard enough to remember my regular name! πŸ™‚

          2. ForumeR says:

            maybe just by write them on paper, handphone or word processor :mrgreen:

  6. Jimson Lee says:

    My guess is pure jealousy, and the fact that Tyler’s site may rub people the wrong way as another John Chow wannabe.

    I subscribe via RSS to Tyler’s site as I find it refreshing and proof that not all bloggers make $12K a month.

    Like the old quote, “Never judge a group based on the actions of a few!”

  7. Jonh Cnow says:

    ThatΒ΄s one of lifeΒ΄s misteries.

    1. cooliojones says:

      Is this him again, the imposter? John’s name is misspelled! I don’t think he would do that intentionally.

  8. I run a very popular forum on stock market. In the beginning we allowed everyone to post without registering first. Big mistake: the human being can be as low as you can imagine behind a computer monitor, and then lower.

    Some people feel protected by the anonymity of the net and go doing and writing things they would never do or say in person.

    Cowards, that’s what they are.

  9. This is what happens when spoiled kids are allowed to use the internet before they stop wetting the bed.

    Very disrespectful and uncalled for…

    Sorry to here someone did that Tyler!!

  10. Michael Kwan says:

    Why is it that I immediately thought of Kumiko when I saw the title of this post?

  11. Boo boo…cry me a river.

    That’s ezactly why ‘spoiled kids’ do this. Before theu know it annoys besides, even though you try to convince everyone else otherwise.

    I did spoofed JC’s at JCOW’s blog, because I was curious to see people’s reactions.

    I’m not jealous, spoiled brat or anythign in between. If i really wanted to piss off JC, he would get a crap load of gay porn subscriptions at his inbox. :p

    And by doing this kind of posts, you are just proving the trolls that their childish behaviour pays off.

    1. Kudos to you for coming out. The JCow posts by “John” were obviously harmless, in my opinion. I got a kick out of, and so did others, I’m sure. Then again, people believe the “I’m being sued” post, so who knows. πŸ˜‰

      DevDad

  12. sir jorge says:

    I had that problem in high school.

    I can’t believe people still do this sort of thing.

    1. Angel says:

      Tell us more.

  13. JerkyBeef says:

    I can see as an attention getter… someone wants attention and this is one way that others will give it.

  14. Some people will always take pot shots at anyone more successful than they are. Not sure if it’s a jealousy thing or what but it’s true.

    This has been an issue in forums and things of that nature for a long time, it’s no surprise it’s started happening more and more with blogs and comments. I still don’t like registration to comment though, it drives a lot of people away in my experience.

    1. Definitely. VERY few people will subscribe to post a comment. TypePad, for example, is extremely obnoxious in this regard. The best way to convert a passer-by into a regular reader is to engage them in a discussion. If they have to fill out a form and confirm their e-mail to add their $0.02, first time comments will be few and far between.

      DevDad

    2. Glen Allsopp says:

      Im not sure why there is a mentality that registering to comment is bad. I have this mentality aswell but we all register on forums to comment

      Interesting..No? πŸ˜‰

  15. browie says:

    I saw those comments using your name. Kind of freaky to think they can make them.

  16. I’ve only heard of this happening a few times.. I think it’s really sad that people get so jealous that they have to ruin the reps of others.

  17. Jack says:

    Jealousy and Envy no doubt.

  18. Johnny says:

    That is really lame, trying to ruin another persons reputation by pretending to be them.

  19. HMTKSteve says:

    I did it once on here (posing as you) when you first added the avatar images. I did it solely to test if they were email based.

  20. B. Durant says:

    Lack of maturity is what drives people to do it. There can be no other motive that I can think of. I don’t know if it is wide spread but on a lot of forums I’ve participated in it has been an issue with people selecting user names that are just one or two characters off from the original.

  21. CatherineL says:

    I smell a rat. I’m thinking that I wish I’d put horrid comments on your blog in my own name, then emailed you to say it was someone else so you’d link to me too.

  22. well they went through some trouble because tyler is getting a free link on the top comment list, and since you addressed the topic, more exposure

    Sounds like the plan is backfiring. Someone pretend to be me and get some free links to me. Thanks

    1. Glen Allsopp says:

      well i guess you could easily do it yourself with a proxy, not sure john would post about it now that youve said that though πŸ˜›

  23. Alistair says:

    I also find it quite funny when the same person is changing their name on a site regularly. Never mind that their IP and email address are the same as many ‘different’ people who have commented before them. I don’t quite understand it, maybe it’s their alter ego.

    1. I have this on a few blogs, when I am trying to show a presence as the owner of a couple of different blogs. Now, I stick to this name, but there are viable reasons to do this, IMO.

      DevDad

  24. mason says:

    Because they are jealous. hatred + jealousy will compel just about anyone to do stupid things.

  25. Emma says:

    That’s messed up. πŸ˜›

  26. bob cobb says:

    People who do that to their competition are lame. The amount of time wasted doing that could be spent actually make a better site/business.

  27. Shaun Carter says:

    I’m glad this came up because I did think “Tyler’s” comments were unusual the other day. I don’t understand the things people do and why they do them. It’s like when someone sabotages another persons Adsense account by click bombing… it’s just childish.

    1. Glen Allsopp says:

      haha you wernt the only one, guess i shouldnt have commented back at him πŸ˜₯

  28. This hasn’t been an issue for me YET, but I know Casey Serin at Iamfacingforeclosure.com has had real problems with this, both personally, and then for certain commenters. I thought it was bizarre then and still find it weird. What kind of sorry life does a person have to have to pretend to be someone else in order to be nasty? Have some balls and say it yourself, but then, I am a redhead…
    Catherine, the redhead

  29. NJCom says:

    who cares?

    1. Glen Allsopp says:

      The people who its happening too and obviously Tyler Cruz, im sure its not a nice thing to go through πŸ™„

  30. jhay says:

    People who pretend to be others are just plain nuts or they simply have low self-esteem. Poor souls… πŸ˜†

  31. Angel says:

    It’s pretty low and I had always wondered if people actually did it. I think it could potentially ruin a blogger’s reputation, and in many cases nobody would know the difference. I wonder what the story is and why someone was posting as him.

  32. REM says:

    The simple answer is: there are flakes everywhere. So you can assume that a few people will do these types of things. It never surprises me. It’s to be expected. 😈

  33. Ryan Bourne says:

    Thats a pretty low blow, but in reality when you’re the tops of your particular field that is bound to happen. I don’t think your blog will suffer that much. Perhaps you can find some evil way to capitalize on this?

    1. Glen Allsopp says:

      Exactly, although theres better ‘bad press’ i guess it could be flattering to see someone try to affect you.

      Just shows you are becoming successful

  34. Steven says:

    The same exact thing happened to me awhile back, I made a rant post about it as well. The nerve of some people, I will never understand why

  35. cooliojones says:

    People simply do not have lives of their own, so they have to live vicariously through the lives of others. Kinda sad really, when they could use that time to make some money.

  36. Daniel says:

    what a loser…

  37. Churchill says:

    There is a loser on TechCrucnh and Marketing Pilgrim who pretends to be Mark Zuckerburg whenever there is a Facebook related story. People with sad lives.

    1. Glen Allsopp says:

      I remember when brad fallen was caught leaving bad comments on aaron wall’s blog. The community sussed him via his i.p

  38. Glen Allsopp says:

    I should have noticed after all the bad things it appeared tyler was saying

    I even quoted him and told him to relax / get a life or something like that πŸ˜‰

  39. There are many haters like the Tyler dude, but thatΒ΄s a wanker. I just did for kicks and giggles. No harm no foul.

    Actually, I’m going to start a experiment and start “borrowing” popular nicks, since it’s a nice way to get some quick traffic!

    Just imagine my face when I saw a post article regarding this subject when I was culprit.

    Just register “John Chow” at a regular forum with his avatar, say something controversial and watch the traffic pouring in. No kidding.

    Don’t be a troll, try to emulate is writting (which is rather easy) and his bragging personality (no offense!) and many people will buy it and think you’re the real deal.

    That’s one of the downsides of being popular..

    Seriously enough, I bet JC got quite attention (and revenue!) from my little joke. Several bloggers are talking about this right now.

    Go me!

  40. ForumeR says:

    That’s unbehaviour and very bad thing to do. It’s kind of give mess to other people and that kind of person has a bad and rotten heart.

  41. I wouldnt like to see also some bad comments with my name.

  42. Ginene says:

    When you’re famous that is what people do. Think of all the celebrities that have millions of webpages that says “this is the official webpage” or how the “Enquirer” just do whatever and use whatever pictures and act like its the celebrity. People just do things to cause drama and everyone loves drama and they’ll just sit back and wait to see what kind of reactions it will stir up.

  43. So far, no one has impersonated me.. is that a bad thing?

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