Anatomy of a Hoax: How an Anonymous Blogger Tricked the Internet Into Believing He Was a Deaf Quadriplegic

Betabeat

If there’s anything we’ve learned from the Violentacrez scandal, it’s that anonymity on the Internet can be easily unmasked–for better or for worse. In the case of quadriplegic Internet sensation Dave on Wheels, it was for the worse. This is the story of how an anonymous blogger tricked the Internet into believing that he was a deaf, wheelchair-bound cerebral palsy sufferer using a special computer to communicate with his thousands of online fans.

David Rose was a 24-year-old Orange County resident who kept a blog, Facebook and Twitter account where he posted inspiring and wry missives about his life and battle with illness. (All of these accounts have since been deleted.) He had communicated with hundreds of online strangers as far back as 2007, when he first registered his Facebook profile.

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