NEWSFLASH: Some people on the internet are not who and what they claim to be. Evidence of this being the case is overwhelming and abundant — see the story of Kimberly Delacroix, once one of the more popular figures on Tumblr, or the documentary Catfish as examples — yet it’s rarely not fascinating whenever someone is unmasked as a fake.
It’s happened again with David Rose, aka “Dave on Wheels” — someone thousands believed to be a deaf, paraplegic, cerebral palsy-stricken blogger who died recently. In reality, he was none of those things. More than likely, he’s just a sad person with a empty life who should have went to theater school but instead got a thrill out of pretending to be someone else.
The hoax began to unravel recently when Rose wrote that he’d been diagnosed with pneumonia and would have to be hospitalized. A few days later, someone claiming to be his sister announced his death in a “last blog post” published on Friday. But when people actually began to dig around they found no evidence of his existence, much less his death.
But as readers started doing some electronic digging, things didn’t sit right. A reader named Kristi-Anne uncovered the fact that Rose’s photo was actually that of Hunter Dunn, another young man with cerebral palsy, whose picture appears on the Tobii site.
What’s more, one of Dave’s devoted online friends from theCHIVE booked a flight to Los Angeles in order to attend “Dave’s” funeral. But Nichole Rose refused to meet. And as further evidence of fabrication, Leo and John Resig, the co-founders of theCHIVE, failed to find a death certificate for Rose.
Additionally, Kristi-Anne revealed that Dave’s tweets had been sent from TweetDeck, which Resig called out as one of the most suspicious findings:
“Somebody using a Tobii ocular reader would never use TweetDeck,” wrote John Resig. “But somebody posing as Dave could easily use the Deck.”
After a David Rose fan created a blog laying out the evidence of fakery, the person apparently behind the hoax left a comment to explain himself, or at least try to.
No celebrity or fame was intended in this ruse; it all came quite fast and was a total surprise. Yes, David has been online since 2007, so I mean the fame part of it. Up until recently he only had a handful of online friends. The quick and furious fame is actually what brought about the end of it all.
David was just a character, a part of my psyche, and fame would soon reveal what it has revealed today. So, the character passed. In hindsight it probably would have been better just to shut it all down and have everyone wonder what the hell happened, but the final post was meant to have the effect it did. To inspire people to love and live a better life, and the public knowledge that it came under this false pretense takes it all away. I hope that people who were moved by it still live by it, but it seems unlikely. It’s possible that more damage has been done in your reveal than in the original deception.
The only good to come out of all of this is that Kim Kardasdian was made to look like an idiot. Again.