Why Do People Fake Being Sick On The Internet?

What Compels People To Pretend Being Sick On The Internet?
Few things on the internet are as spellbinding or perplexing to witness as an uplifting or tragic story turned elaborate falsehood.From the Australian health blogger who faked her miraculous recovery from terminal cancer to the woman who lied about her dramatic rescue from the Twin Towers during 9/11, there’s no shortage of malingering hoaxers out there. Thankfully, for those of us ever fascinated by these peculiar characters and why they did what they did, Braincraft’s latest video discusses the science behind internet fakery.Using the example of Dana Dirr — seemingly a pregnant woman killed by a drunk driver who actually didn’t exist — the video explains that many hoaxers may be suffering from a psychological condition called Munchausen syndrome, or factitious disorder as it’s currently labeled by the latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).Named after the infamously grandiose fictional character Baron Munchausen, sufferers of the condition are rarely malicious in their intent — they often simply want outsized amounts of attention and sympathy from others. And while Munchausen syndrome has been known about since at least the early 1950’s, the internet has likely sparked a new form of the condition, thanks to the ease of creating fake profiles and the ability to amass huge numbers of social media followers.For more on the ins-and-out of Munchausen syndrome, check out the rest of the video above. Youtube

Few things on the internet are as spellbinding or perplexing to witness as an uplifting or tragic story turned elaborate falsehood.

From the Australian health blogger who faked her miraculous recovery from terminal cancer to the woman who lied about her dramatic rescue from the Twin Towers during 9/11, there’s no shortage of malingering hoaxers out there. Thankfully, for those of us ever fascinated by these peculiar characters and why they did what they did, Braincraft’s latest video discusses the science behind internet fakery.

Using the example of Dana Dirr — seemingly a pregnant woman killed by a drunk driver who actually didn’t exist — the video explains that many hoaxers may be suffering from a psychological condition called Munchausen syndrome, or factitious disorder as it’s currently labeled by the latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

Named after the infamously grandiose fictional character Baron Munchausen, sufferers of the condition are rarely malicious in their intent — they often simply want outsized amounts of attention and sympathy from others. And while Munchausen syndrome has been known about since at least the early 1950’s, the internet has likely sparked a new form of the condition, thanks to the ease of creating fake profiles and the ability to amass huge numbers of social media followers.

For more on the ins-and-out of Munchausen syndrome, check out the rest of the video above.  

Loading...
Join the Discussion