Not an Imposter or Sock Puppet, She’s a Composite!

Susan Lee Ward is the name- who the head belongs to is anyone’s guess.
Susan Lee Ward is the name- who the head belongs to is anyone’s guess.
There’s a term you may have run across online: sock puppet.  A sock puppet is an online identity created for the purpose of defending/promoting/cheerleading some person or cause to which you’re attached without it being obvious.  Of course, there are also imposters, who claim to be someone else, or hide that they’re the underpaid assistants to someone else.

But the newest, and hard-to-explain tack, is the one taken by a site designed to attract females of the baby boomer generation.  Two women, of undisclosed ages, are the site’s editorial directors, and rather than post as either one of themselves or even both, they created a “composite” woman with a stranger’s face. This fake person even authors posts, because there’s nothing experienced women enjoy like dealing with overt phonies. (wait, wha?) Their explanation for it deserves to be read verbatim (pulled from MediaBistro):

Susan Lee Ward is a composite created and managed by the Vibrant Nation staff to represent themselves and the Vibrant Woman. VibrantNation.com is about its community and not any one person, and we believe that placing a single staff member in front of our community could distract our visitors and readers from the real subject at hand – them. That said, we know that faces and names can better represent the individuals behind Vibrant Nation than a disembodied title. Since we couldn’t invent a typical Vibrant Woman (there being no such thing!) we created the composite Vibrant Woman, representing a summation of what our members tell us about themselves. Susan Lee Ward is managed by the all-woman Vibrant Nation editorial team: Cara Reynolds and Beth Blakely.

Points for transparency with deductions for incomprehension.  That said, I will freely admit that CrimeHQ isn’t a single, real person either, but is a rotating assignment, like a duty desk or being tagged as a temporary cafeteria chaperone.  Perhaps in some glorious future, everyone will have their 15 minutes of being CrimeHQ! Anyway, top of my head, I can think of 13 people who’ve been CrimeHQ here or in our social media to date, so if we ever wanted an avatar, rather than an attractive stock gallery model, I think we’d need something more like this-

There aren’t actually enough heads on this hydra for all of us, but the attitude’s right.
There aren’t actually enough heads on this hydra for all of us, but the attitude’s right.

Comments

  1. Terrie Farley Moran

    Bummer. I always hoped one day to be as smart and savvy as Crime HQ. But Crime HQ isn’t a single person filled with wit and wisdom! Well, I guess the pressure to succeed is removed from my shoulders. 😉

  2. Deborah Lacy

    Love the new avatar for @crimehq. In fact, I love Crimehq no matter how many people it is.
    I will not be following Susan Lee Ward though. This confusing sock puppet with the imposter face even has a middle name. I hope they spend as much time researching their posts as they do figuring out the fake persona of their sock puppet.

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