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Welcome, Background, and Introduction

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  • dhartung@spamcop.net
    Once there was a girl named Kaycee Nicole. She was nineteen and full of life, yet at the same time struggling with leukemia. She had a weblog called Living
    Message 1 of 1 , May 21, 2001
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      Once there was a girl named Kaycee Nicole.

      She was nineteen and full of life, yet at the same time struggling
      with leukemia. She had a weblog called Living Colours, that was seen
      as inspiring or cloying by turns. She had friends throughout the web
      community, starting with College Club and extending to Webby Award
      winners. There were gift exchanges and phone calls. Then, alas, there
      was a turn for the worse; one day in May, she was reported to have
      died of an aneurysm.

      That was when things really got bad. Some people had suspicions,
      going back months, that they had been careful not to voice, since
      everywhere there was nothing but praise for this brave young woman.
      In the space of a few days, on weblogs and especially Metafilter,
      those suspicions were aired, people began checking into things, and
      it all fell apart: Debbie, who was claimed to be Kaycee Nicole's
      mother, told the person hosting her weblog that she had not been
      truthful and Kaycee did not exist -- that she was a composite, a
      construct. Of her online friends, some believed they had known the
      young woman personally for over two years. But it turned out that
      nobody had ever actually met her, and the real world links amounted
      to little more than a post office box in Newton, KS and an IP address
      in nearby Peabody.

      This confession seemd only to raise more questions than it answered.
      If there were phone calls, who was on the line? If there were gifts
      or money sent, where did it go? Metafilter readers were especially
      keen to track down the truth behind the hoax, knowing some of the
      people who were duped very well. Others arrived to join the fray.
      Many people didn't get the news, which sprung up on a weekend, until
      Monday -- and traffic quickly brought that server down.

      This group is open for any discussion related to the Kaycee Nicole
      situation, from personal experiences to outsider opinions. If people
      want to continue the investigation to uncover the truth, they may do
      so here. What went wrong? How can we avoid making the same mistakes
      again, or is the relative anonymity of the net fated to give rise to
      more and more hoaxers?

      One last note. I'm starting this group to create a safety valve.
      Metafilter was shuddering under the load of 300+ message threads,
      reloaded for each preview and post, checked multiple times a day.
      Metafilter is also very much in the public eye, and is probably the
      wrong place for continued discussions. People are invited here so
      that those with an interest have a place to post, and those without
      an interest or a desire to move on may continue to use the resources
      of a place like Metafilter without it crashing. I am much more in the
      latter group. I will take applications for moderating this group, so
      let me know.
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