It’s the question on everyone’s minds since the Manti Te’o scandal first broke: Was the Notre Dame football star the victim of an online hoax ... or was he one of the people behind the scam?
Deadspin first broke the story that the girlfriend Te’o so publicly and inspirationally spoke about (and who allegedly passed away) was actually a complete fraud.
“I'd be really surprised if he cooked this whole thing up in an effort to win over the hearts of America and take home the Heisman trophy,” says Nev Schulman co-creator of the MTV docuseries “Catfish: The TV Show.” “That seems like a pretty far-fetched scheme to me.”
Schulman and "Catfish" co-creator Max Joseph talked with “omg! Insider” contributor Nina Parker to give their take on the story and the surge in online dating deception and lies.
[To see the full interview, check out Friday's episode of "omg! Insider."]
“He would have to be one hell of a performer, an actor, to pull that off the way he did,” adds Joseph.
While most online hoaxes only affect one person at a time, the Te’o scandal had a much bigger fallout, explains Schulman. “I think not only was Manti catfished, by association, all of us, America was catfished.”
And it turns out fake online profiles are more prevalent than we might think.
“This is no longer something strange. This is normal and this is happening all the time,” Jacobs says. “And I think as what we're doing as the public is trying to figure out rules to the game, and … manners and ethics by which to navigate this tricky virtual world that we're now all living in.”
For more of the interview with the creators of “Catfish,” tune in to “omg! Insider” Friday night. Check your local listings.