A woman on Twitter dies of brain cancer. But did she ever really exist?




I am strangely elated to learn that my skepticism has been vindicated. It's so much better than the other way around, when you're just the horrible cynical person.


I can't read glurge-infested cancer stories. I think I'm allergic. My grandmother died of cancer and my aunt had to have radical surgery. There's nothing beautiful and profound about it. It's a fucking disease.


Cienna Madrid, writing in The Stranger, had a good article on the phenomenon allegedly in evidence here, which has been called "Munchausen By Internet".


The people who did this should fucking get cancer. Shitheads.


You know it was just some marketing fucks. Where is Bill Hicks when you need him? Oh yeah, he died of fucking cancer.


Glad to know my icky sensor was working properly, I thought there was something wrong with me.


(Sadly, the article doesn't quite say much on why this is fake, other than the tweet about "GBM IV" being impossible to diagnose without surgery.)


Unfortunately people will use anything for attention, often not thinking of the impact that they have on the people and families that have to really deal with such situations. very selfish.

A woman on Twitter dies of cancer. But did she ever really exist?

if she died she existed, if she never existed she didn't die but was rather a fabrication, either way it was posted about on twitter


A guy did something like this years ago on the Anandtech forums. Had everybody hanging for quite a while,but was eventually found out and then banned. It really made me wonder about what kind of person would do that and why.


It made the front page of Reddit.

That's a sure sign of nonsense, right there.


That's a really good piece. The realm of internet disease fakers certainly seems like a new type of mental illness and/or personality disorder.


Here's what I don't get - she was active on Twitter for three years before the cancer story. For just a hoax, that's one hell of a setup. I wonder if maybe there was some other payoff during those three years - internet romance, financial fraud, whatever? Maybe the cancer story started when the first story went sour - whatever that was.


I know several people who have kept up these fake personas online for years in some cases over a decade. Any online community is full of these stories.


This is my wonder too. I can sort of understand the motivations of someone who pretends to have cancer and then tries to raise some money for their "treatment". It is so unethical, it makes my brain ache to think of it, but I can understand why they do it. But someone like this has no end reward, unless they see it as art or misplaced attention or something... I don't get it.


Oh no! Do you realize what you've done? You've created an infinite loop. Now their will be people faking being disease fakers, and people faking being those fakers and...divide by zero error, memory heap overflow...no disassemble, #5 is alive.


A divide by Zeroes you mean...


At least if Reddit is on the case we have some chance of catching the terrorists who gave her the cancer.


Anyone else here remember Plain Layne?


There was a spoof article in the medical journals a decade or so ago (the details of which I cannot be arsed recalling), reporting a case study of someone factitiously claiming to have Munchausen's Syndrome.