Here's how I describe them:
1) The pretend expert
These are the people who publish reviews of new products and services, sometimes before launch. They haven't seen or tried the new stuff themselves, but have simply read all the reports from people who have, and pulled together a summary which makes them look as though they are "in the know".
2) The pretend writer
These are real crooks, in my opinion. They reproduce articles and blog posts written by others, with no accreditation, leading people to believe they wrote them. Sometimes they even claim the writing credit. Sad indeed.
3) The pretend journalist
This is a type I'm seeing more often. they pick up online news alerts or listen to broadcast sources, and then announce the "news" to their friends and followers. They overlook the fact that if people are interested in a story, they will have the same alerts set up. If there was an attempt to comment on the news, I could see the point of it, but simply sending out "news" seems utterly pointless. News sites do it better and faster.
4) The pretend friend of celebs
They continually "chat" to celebrities on Twitter and Facebook as though they are pals. 99% of it is one-way traffic. Occasionally, they will receive a response, which they will talk about for weeks.
What do all these fakes have in common? I suspect it's a desire for status - to be seen as an important member of their online community. Alas, I think it's all wasted effort. It would be far better if they posted their own views and experiences, offered their unique perspective, and engaged in debate. It would provide some genuine credibility, not to mention some much-needed self-respect.
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