Dr Sean Munger’s blog post today about an east Asian model’s face being used by scammers is excellent, and his final paragraph is spot on.
I won’t spoil it, as it’s worth your time getting there, but I will provide his Mastodon post on it.
I responded to Sean with: ‘I must have seen “Freya” and friends a couple of dozen times a year on Twitter when I used it, and more than that on LinkedIn!
‘A nice walk through history. I’m grateful to be Gen X as well. Being able to understand what technology was supposed to solve is definitely an advantage in life. I have to agree that we’ve left the heady ideals of a technological utopia far behind as a society.’
Those weren’t the “good old days” but they were days when we were trying to figure out how to communicate across countries and generate more understanding between people, for mutual progress. The reality in 2023 is that not everyone wishes for these positive things, and some actively work against them. For example, this was a pretty innocent thread till we were trolled by someone from the US who actively wanted to pick a fight over a fiction of his own making. As Sean says, although with reference to scams, ‘As with everything else in cyberspace, it’s gotten meaner, uglier, darker and more cut-throat and ruthless.’
I ignored ‘Kayla’ here and I see she has since gone; the ‘Linkedin Member’ shown in the left-hand column was another woman of east Asian descent, based on her former profile photo. I think most people using Linkedin will spot the problems with these messages, but don’t tell the scammers!
We come back to the importance of education and, despite people like Holly Jahangiri and me sounding the alarm bells over the behaviour of (corporate) social media for over a decade (a lot of which we have documented on our respective blogs), society has allowed yet another generation to succumb to their increasing depravity and deception. Will we catch up or will the void continue to be filled by confidence tricksters?