Word Notes 5.26.23
Ep 150 | 5.26.23

catfish (noun)


Rick Howard: The word is: catfish

Rick Howard: Spelled: Catfish as in fish, who in reality are not who they seem to be, but keep the other fishes in the tank on their toes.

Rick Howard: Definition: The practice of crafting a fake online persona for malicious purposes.

Rick Howard: Example sentence: The lonely man realized he had been catfished on a dating application.

Rick Howard: Origin and contact: In cybersecurity, a catfish is a person who creates a false online identity for the purposes of deception, fraud, or exploitation. Catfishing is most commonly used for romance scans on dating apps, websites, and social media platform. Catfishers typically use fake photos and information to create a persona that is more attractive and appealing than their real self. Then they use this persona to build relationships with unsuspecting victims. Once they have gained the victim's trust, cat Fishers will often ask for money, gifts, or other favors. In some cases, catfishers may also try to exploit their victims by sharing personal information or photos.

Rick Howard: The term Catfish comes from the 2010 documentary of the same name, where the victim Is, Yaniv "Nev" Schulman,, an American TV host and producer, best known for this documentary and a follow up TV series on MTV. The Catfish in the movie is Angela Wesselman, AKA Megan, a 40 year old married woman who uses a fake photo and bio on her Facebook profile that makes her look like a 20 year old model. Angela was looking for romance and she was not looking to commit fraud, but the movie documents, the courtship between Nev and Megan with over 1500 messages exchanged between them over nine months, and the ultimate confrontation between the two when Nev visits Megan in person

Rick Howard: Nerd Reference: In this ending scene from the movie, Angela's husband, Vince, is not angry with Angela for establishing an online relationship with Nev. He's more accepting in melancholy about it. He tells this story 

Vince: They used to tank, uh, cod from Alaska all the way to China. They'd keep them in vats in the ship. By the time the codfish reached China, the the flesh was, was mush and tasteless. So this guy came up with the idea that if you put these cods in these big vats, put some catfish in with them. And the catfish will keep the cod agile.

Vince: And there are those people who are catfish in life and they keep you on your toes. They keep you guessing. They keep you thinking, they keep you fresh.

Vince: And, uh, I thank God for the catfish cause we'd be droll, boring, and dull if we didn't have somebody nipping at our fan.

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