I admit that at first I couldn’t tell.
Today, it’s so obvious.
The eHarmony Video Bio on YouTube featuring the young woman named “Debbie” crying over her love of cats is fake.
When I first watched, I wasn’t worried about that. I was completely engaged in the entertainment value of what I was watching. “Debbie” at first appears nervous, vulnerable. And in moments she’s crying because she just loves cats so much. I didn’t care whether the woman was acting, I enjoyed the online meltdown.
The sound of her whimpering could be heard from other computers in the newsroom. Everyone was entertained.
But right away, people were making the “real or fake” judgment. And the unanimous ruling was “fake.”
But you must admit, she’s good.
Her name is Cara Hartmann, and I should have spotted the signs right away:
- The video was uploaded by Cara Hartmann, but she introduces herself as “Debbie."
- The picture quality is suspiciously similar to the infamous “Leave Britney Alone!” video from several years ago.
- Cara’s YouTube channel has another video, and it’s not related to cats.
So, what’s going on?
There was an email address, so I sent a message: I’m doing a story about the video; how about an interview?
The next day at 3 a.m. came back a reply … from an agency in Beverly Hills:
"Thank you very much for your interest in Cara. We've been inundated so we're getting through it all. At this time, Cara is not doing any interviews but best of luck with your story. Going forward, we request that you please send all inquiries through our office and not to Cara directly.”
Well, that pretty much nails it, doesn’t it?
But she was good.
The “bio” video has nearly 8 million views.
(With Ryan Webber)Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times