Oft-cited student loan expert turns out to be fake persona affiliated with lenders


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/04/26/oft-cited-student-loan-expert.html


Fact checking? Why would we bother doing that? /s


Here’s a handy rule of thumb for figuring out how evil governments and corporations can be:

Don’t bother, you can’t imagine it.

Microsoft sends recycler to jail for reinstalling obsolete, licensed copies of Windows on refurbished PCs

Wait, wait, I thought we could rely on the old media because they have "layers and layers " of fact checkers.


None of this surprises me. We live in a “post truth” society after all.


The Chronicle of Higher Education - founded 1966.

I think that’s pretty ‘old media’. :slight_smile:

But, yeah. Old media or new media - either you check facts or you don’t. They did in this case. Others… didn’t.


“Drew Cloud” sounds like one of those names someone had to make up on the spot:


I’ve done work with some of the kinds of agencies that invent these sort of pretend people. I can’t speak to all of them, but the ones I’ve dealt with definitely think they’re way more clever than they really are.


This is my Surprised Face. :neutral_face:


Boston Globe, 1872, Washington Post, 1877.


Meh, mere striplings:


H’yup, they do that, sure enough.


Pretty sure those weren’t involved…


The aspect of this that seems sort of baffling isn’t the evil, the calculated deception, etc. but the fact that they’d need a fictional person for the job. This hardly seems like the sort of thing that a PR flack or a think-tank quackademic would flinch at.


It certainly has the air of a name that comes from frantically casting around the room looking for words to put in one’s mouth hole.


Old vs. new media doesn’t refer to their age. It refers to their type.


“Drew Cloud is a pseudonym that a diverse group of authors at Student Loan Report, LLC use to share experiences and information related to the challenges college students face with funding their education,” wrote Nate Matherson, CEO of LendEDU.

The “how do you sleep at night” and “do you think we’re idiots” queries are wasted on sociopaths.


I’m waiting for the follow-up story that the content was generated using AI. The number of writers and editors employed by newspapers has been decreasing for decades. The syndicated columns and content (on financial topics) are full of generalities and bad advice geared toward helping institutions, not individuals. I would not be shocked to learn most so-called experts giving advice are getting paid in some way to help the finance industry increase profits.


Not surprised at all. Virtually all of the “rescue” services that claim to help you fight your credit card lenders, school loans, or IRS taxes are unbranded arms of those institutions themselves. Standard practice these days.

I wince whenever I hear the ads shout, “Don’t go to the IRS and risk getting arrested - come to us! We know how to get you the best settlement from the IRS!”

Well, of course, they do, they ARE the IRS.


It’s fact checking all the way down. Anybody check the Chronicle’s story out? Email Drew Cloud directly and ask “him?” 'course, I’m not going to trust you either way. :slight_smile: