Catfish

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The Portrayal of Catfishing Within Popular Media

The act of catfishing — pretending to be someone else online to lure someone into a false relationship — has become a somewhat common occurrence. This also means that this behaviour has started appearing in more entertainment media. This, then, begs the question. How is the act of catfishing portrayed in media?

An analysis of this topic could start with the TV show Catfish, which depicts the act as cruel whilst simultaneously often showing sympathy to those who participate in catfishing depending upon their individual circumstances.

Through looking at other examples — either fictional or non-fictional — try to determine whether popular culture depicts this as a severe violation, a minor problem, or somewhere in between.

If possible, make a comment about what this says about societal values.

Note: I have placed this in the Arts category, but it could potentially sit in the other media forms (like TV or Film) if they are most discussed.

  • I think adding an element about how there are movies where all someone does is take off a characters glasses and they are hot (She’s All That) is also a form of cat fishing happening. Or even a mistaken identity like in Eurotrip. There are a lot of instincts in movies or shows where people get tricked into think one thing about a character and finding out different. This will be cool to read/write. – mynameisarianna 4 months ago
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  • I think this is a really great topic, especially with the Tinder Swindler on Netflix becoming so popular. A slightly different form but the same principle. – BrennaDempsey 4 months ago
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  • The recent Netflix movie LoveHard tries to tackle both characters who have catfished and their attempting to convince others it is wrong, but in the end the main charactes still end up together...so what does that all mean? – derBruderspielt 4 months ago
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  • While the television show "90 Day Fiance" definitely has its racist, xenophobic moments and is not necessarily focusing on "catfishing", I think it also opens up the interesting dynamic of long distance relationships and its tendency to encourage hiding the truth. Often, both people are "catfishing" in some way, either by hiding appearance, intention, information. The show is really ambiguous in regards to who you should feel sympathetic towards. In the MTV show Catfish, usually the viewer is positioned to feel sympathetic with the person being catfished (of course, the presenters are quite balanced and often give the catfish an opportunity to be heard out). In many of the relationships that involve lying or covering the truth in 90 Day Fiance, it is a bit more ambiguous and often both parties have hidden something. – aidenmagro 2 months ago
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