Fake Listeners

Something that has always amused me is when a presenter pretends to be a listener.

During a show, the presenter will post messages in the shoutbox using a fake name, saying how much they love the show, the music and the DJ. Basically talking to themselves. Another twist on this, is the listener coming back during another show and asking if someone knows when the presenter (himself) will be on again. It’s a strange form of self-promotion and a possible sign of illness.

This strange behaviour first became apparent when I noticed someone playing the game and got confused as to which role they were adopting. You do need to be pretty adept at navigating two shoutbox sessions to maintain the illusion. The presenter would start posting as a listener - but he was still signed into the shoutbox as a DJ - and so his comments would be highlighted red and would be tagged with the DJ’s name. Likewise, his DJ comments were appearing as if a listener. Be warned, it can be tricky to maintain multiple personas when swapping between screens and sessions. Don’t do it unless you have the split personality thing off to a tee.

This type of behaviour was easy to detect by virtue of the presenter and listener having the same IP address. When caught, some would cheekily claim that the listener really was genuine and elsewhere in the same house or on the same network. This was equally easy to dismiss. Each person entering the shoutbox, be it a presenter or a listener, would have a unique cookie deployed on their device. So, if genuine, the comments from listener and presenter could be distinguished by their cookies. When both had the same cookie information present, it took little effort to show they were indeed the same person.

Oh how we would giggle when asking if the presenter was sharing his keyboard with his listener!

I’ve seen people claim to be broadcasting from a raft of locations; from the car, in a neighbour’s garden, from the office, on a bus, even from a restaurant, where, we are led to believe, the assembled diners were choosing songs for the playlist. Pah! The clue, of course, is the IP address. If this never changes, then it’s safe to assume the presenter hasn’t moved from his mum’s house.

People love to appear more popular than they are and claim more listeners than everyone else. We’ve all done it. But technology has a way of leaving you with egg on face and a little bit of increased notoriety for all the wrong reasons.

Posted by Tim on Fri 18 Nov 2022 at 09:25 and viewed 1,331 times.

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