To start with a complete random, isn’t-the-internet-weird-and-wonderful story… I sought an image for this post by searching google images (settings for licensed for re-use) for dumb machine — and a few scrolls down from images of old computers, images of asylums and pinball machines… one of my own photos jumped out. Why is my old dog Mickey, my namesake (being washed in that photo by my ex-wife) in this collection? What’s wrong with you, Google?

Actually nothing. Google does know what it’s doing with images. I wonder if they can help Facebook.


It was my own joke on myself. I was at the time setting up an old PC to test something on and made it’s wallpaper desktop a screen capture of my Mac desktop, itself captured as a screen capture, a meta joke ha ha ha.

A broken machine? Or just confused.

Okay, I am a Mac-head, through and through. But tonight I was setting up a rather old Compaq laptop since I need a dumb machine to test how bad Internet Explorer ruins my web designs.

So fishing through my flickr account for some photos to use as a desktop (the Windows XP green hill makes me want to barf), I found what I thought was my favorite dog picture, but was actually a desktop screen capture of my Mac deskop done for the sake of Oehlert’s Desktop Contest Group.

So I wondered… what would happen using a screenshot of a Mac desktop on Windows XP? Kind of recursive? dizzying? stupid?

Okay, enough explaining the metaphor of the post I have not written. As a bit of an interlude to a Tuesday session on eportfolios and identity at the Open Up TRU events at Thompson Rivers University, I offered to share my recent escapades with my own photos used as catfishbait. To be clear, I want to say that I have not been catfished; it’s my photos that are used in the luring process.

I’ve been somewhat resigned to not let this boil me up again, because that last round ended up being a few days of mild rage and blogging and tracing my own photos that was really a distraction of the stuff I prefer doing.

In prep of this session (meaning that morning I was quickly the images above into a little slide deck, I went back to Facebook (which now I guess I can say I am fortunate to have access to after 10 days of being in the cold room) to just see if “Roddick Henderson” a “person” (in the Facebook sense_ that previously had two different profiles with my photos in it, both of which my reports and others managed to get closed.

I went to one of those profiles that was using my photos, and after changing my own profile to the same image, send a friend request.

I made my own Facebook profile image the one many catfishers use.

I made my own Facebook profile image the one many catfishers use.

I thought it might be funny for them to get a request of someone with the same photo! Ha ha. Maybe they would get miffed that someone was using their image. Maybe it was my foolishness or over inflated sense of humor, but I am guessing Roddick 568 or Roddick 94 reported me.

Anyhow, just for fun, I looked in Facebook for Roddick to see if he was still around.

Not only was Roddick back, but he has back three times.

What are the odds there are three people on Facebook named Roddick Henderson that all look like me?

What are the odds there are three people on Facebook named Roddick Henderson that all look like me?

Fascinating. (Note: As of today, only one looks active).

Just for the record, let’s visit them. First, let’s meet Roddick Henderson Number 1

Am I Roddick?

Am I Roddick?

I can tell from my clothing and surrounding, that this is a photo someone took of me at Northern Voice 2009 in Vancouver. I can see the heads of D’Arcy Norman and Jim Groom int he background. I am not sure who’s photo this is (Google Image search and Tin Eye failed), so if anyone knows the source, let me know.

Good looking guy, right? How about visiting Roddick Henderson Number 1? He’s holding a 3D printed image of his face? How do I know? Lucky guess.

Now, wait, I AM RODDICK.

Now, wait, I AM RODDICK.

Maybe it’s because I took that photo in May 2012 at UMW. It’s an uncanny resemblance to Roddick, a mere coincidence that Facebook’s facial recognition technology is totally stumped by.

But wait, there is one more Roddick to meet. He looks like a speaker type dude… and his account is still kicking today on Facebook (why are all my fakes in the oil industry?)

Roddick looks like an adventurous dude

Roddick looks like an adventurous dude

I guess it is just the sheer vastness of the internet that the photo Roddick 501 uploaded as his profile on October 23, was a photo taken of me by Gardner Campbell on February 2009?

I had no idea in 2009 that there was a guy named Roddick who looked like me

I had no idea in 2009 that there was a guy named Roddick who looked like me

Can there be any more a clear example of how incredibly broken Facebook’s technology and facade of Community Standards are that they allow three accounts created on the same day, with the same name, with similar photos?

Yes, my friends may offer their incredulity, and support. I continue to get emails from the real catfishing victims who experience true financial, and worst, trust losses. But the machine is broken and no one is making Facebook accountable for their dumb machine.

At least, thanks to Troy Welch, I have a soothing song to deal with this!

Top / Featured Image Credits: flickr photo by cogdogblog shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as

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