A celebrity, a renowned musician in fact, made up a false Facebook profile and hid behind it for a week. Contest participants were “challenged” to find Steve Angello of Swedish House Mafia fame, amid Facebook’s 1.1 billion users. Tens of thousands of participants from 124 countries accepted the challenge, but it wasn’t easy.
Using Angello, MTV has been promoting its h it show Catfish: The TV Show, which details people who aren’t exactly what they say they are online to strike up a romantic relationship using an alter ego – an incredibly easy feat these days thanks to Photoshop and social networks. Of course, thanks to everything we knew about Internet sleuthing, so is catching people in the act.
While revealing the actual person behind an Internet romance wasn’t including, the contest strung participants along for a week as MTV left breadcrumbs to his online whereabouts (Angello was masquerading as one Pete Bowman, whose profile served as catfishers’ starting point). It was also an educational process: “We wanted to explain the concept of catfish by arranging a virtual hide-and-seek on Facebook,” a spokesperson on behalf of MTV told us.
There were 1500 people who successfully found him (among which 433 people sent friend requests), and according to the contest rules only one of these people will be lucky enough to meet him in Miami. What’s intriguing about the contest though is that it’s among the first that encouraged the use of Graph Search if the participants were fortunate enough to have the feature rolled out to them – clearly, a huge advantage, and one we’re sure people are going to start turning to in their own future catfish situations.