The internet: apparently, nothing but lies

Ransom Riggs

If you haven't heard of Lonelygirl15 yet, crawl out from underneath that virtual rock. Beguiling video blogger and supposed naif LonelyGirl has been called "the Mona Lisa of YouTube," and her blogs -- around thirty of them since early summer -- have been viewed millions upon millions of times (that's, like, finale of 'Seinfeld' big, for you Nielsen ratings nerds out there). So what hooked everyone? There are differing theories (I'll leave out the ones about Scientology and mind-control) but the simplest explanation, according to our friend Occam, is usually the right one: the shy, homeschooled-girl-with-a penchant-for- Richard-Feynmann routine made her a hit with geeks, who sensed a kindred spirit. Then there are the blogs' creepy details which seemed almost Lost-inspired in their strangeness, and appeared to be clues: a quick pan to one corner of her set (I mean, room) revealed an altar set up beneath a framed picture of famed occultist Alestair Crowley. Further hints about her strict parents and the religious 'camps' they sent her to deepened the mystery. The blogosphere began to wonder: could this be real, or a convincing hoax perpetrated upon millions of unsuspecting YouTubers?

Well, now we have the answer: it was all a lie. According to this morning's New York Times:

"The woman who plays Lonelygirl15 on the video-sharing site has been identified as Jessica Rose, a 20-ish resident of New Zealand and Los Angeles and a graduate of the New York Film Academy. And the whole project appears to be the early serialized version of what eventually will become a movie."

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