Victim or con artist? Community reacts to Manti Te'o "Catfis - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Victim or con artist? Community reacts to Manti Te'o "Catfishing" fiasco

Posted: Updated:

After a documentary called "Catfish" a few years ago followed by an MTV reality show based on it, "Catfishing" has become a cruel phenomenon.

It basically means starting a relationship with someone online and lying about who you are.

Notre Dame Linebacker Manti Te'o's supposed relationship with his girlfriend Lennay Kekuah created an emotional narrative to Notre Dame's football season that would be fit for a major motion picture.

But his girlfriend never really existed.

Te'o and the university believe he fell victim to a "catfishing" scheme.

But is it really that easy to be fooled these days?

UT Austin Psychology professor Art Markman believes it is.

"It's not that hard to con someone, really. It's not that hard to lie to somebody because we, generally speaking, have to accept that most people are being truthful," Markman said.

Markman says it's human nature to cooperate.

"If somebody comes up and tells you their name, you expect that that's their name. If somebody tells you something about their life, you expect that while they might be embellishing it a little bit, they're more or less telling you the truth and we have to rely on that for everything to work," Markman said.

There are reports that Te'o knows the young man behind the fake girlfriend. And therefore may have been in on it all along.

We asked UT students if they believe his story.

"I really do believe he got duped and it's not really his fault," said Aaron Alanis

"I do believe his story. I don't know who would come up with a fake girlfriend who has Leukemia. I mean most people don't do that even though he's young, so I do believe it," said Emily Bowlin

FOX 7 viewers on Facebook are not quite as forgiving:

John writes "It's certainly provided me a lot of entertainment. Hope he can handle the embarrassment."

Tonja writes "He is no doubt a great player, but was it made up hoping that he would get "sympathy" Heisman votes? May his grandma rest in peace."

Powered by WorldNow

KTBC FOX 7
119 East 10th Street
Austin, TX 78701

Phone: (512) 476-7777
Fax: (512) 495-7001

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices