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“Lifefaker.com makes faking perfection easy” (lifefaker.com)
751 points by olifrost on April 29, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 234 comments

Note that this is itself a fake site. It's put up by https://sanctus.io/ and clicking on any Buy button will redirect you to this Medium post: https://sanctus.io/social-media-mental-health-b1803b6b475f

The best satire is the one where you can’t immediately tell. This nailed that.

Even the logo is spot on. This is dark satire indeed, predicting the near future where someone out there actually will offer such a service, and millions will buy into it. This would be a perfect fit in the world of Black Mirror.

As both a speculative fiction author and an entrepreneur, new ideas sometimes have me on the fence for whether I should make them into businesses, or into dystopian novellas.

Anywhere we can read your work?

Probably YC Round 2019.

Happens rarely, but I laughed out loud at a HN comment :)

Also the title.

Made my day

this would be hard to scale as you would probably need to generate new images for each client, but if you could auto-generate imagery per client that would help (still the subscription needs to be priced higher)

The "influencer" would just have to take a lot of pictures for each event. Maybe the same from different angles...

Could easily generate hundreds of photos from one "session".

One issue at a time

Or China if they could improve your 'social credit' rating. I am a little disappointed though. From the title I thought the service would be for faking profiles in order to trick the data vacuuming companies. Filling their databases with fake useless garbage has been my desire for awhile.

FWIW services kinda like this already exist — there are marketplaces for "social influencers" to buy content.

Would be great to have a link in this thread for comparison?

Thanks - we're very happy with the reaction and all this amazing discussion - it's exactly what we wanted!

The bottom of the FAQ did me in, but that's a perfect place: the people who are about to bounce anyway.

It even looks like the 'e' is winking. I really like this logo.

I cottoned on that it was (probably) fake, but I can imagine someone doing this for real.

The movie Idiocracy is an example.

movie? thought it’s a documentary

yup, time-shifted documentary.

but the value of t in the film is erroneous, and the actual value is unknown.

LOL, yep. I used to refer to it as a movie; but now I call it a documentary.

Awesome idea for a satire site, and this appears to be well intended. However it did bring an interesting thought to mind: somebody could easily create a site like this for the express purpose of building retargeting audiences in a given niche. Post something likely to go viral in tech circles, for example, then throw retargeting pixels from FB, Google, etc on there. Notice that the URL posted to HN had a tracking parameter attached to it (“?HackerNews”). I didn’t bother to look at the code on the site, but I noticed that Adblock Plus blocked 4 elements on the page, so maybe they’re already doing this. Even just with the YouTube-based promo video embedded on the page, you can retarget people that watched the video.

I clicked through to the HN comments, going 'I bet someone will want to make this a business'. Sure enough :D

I think we might all be predictable.

So look. 3 hours after you wrote this (now, that is) you probably forgot your comment (whether a random HN project becomes a business or not). Here's my take for an answer - it doesn't matter :)

It probably touched base for everyone linking such mirrors with mental health points - fair play, I know I'll think about this tomorrow regardless of its far-fetched potential biz-prop. Cheers!

Which target though?

Amazing! But this is already realer than the satire suggests. Amazing article on rental friends in Japan: https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2017/11/paying-fo... And the curiously gender-specific invisible girlfriend: https://invisiblegirlfriend.com/

blink what the hell did I just read? He is pretending to be a father for eight years? And this is ongoing? o_O

That article on rental friends makes me so mad. I'd rather know that my dad wasn't around than be completely lied to like that. Jeez.

> And the curiously gender-specific invisible girlfriend: https://invisiblegirlfriend.com/

There is a male equivalent: https://invisibleboyfriend.com

Once again, Japan delivers on soul-crushing social dynamics.

Sometimes I fear that Japan is merely a reflection of what lies ahead for a whole lot of humanity once the global population/ urbanization density becomes high enough.

There's apparently an Invisible Boyfriend site, too. It's linked at the bottom. I have to suspect it gets less traffic, though.

I shared an office with the founder of Sanctus for a while (James) when he was working on a different startup. Sanctus is a brilliant idea that's doing good work. If it scales well it could make a real difference in a lot of people's lives. Nice guy too.

Cheers Chris :)

Campus north?

Ignite Loft.

Just wait, it's a fake door test and sanctus.io is actually going to pivot to this due to the overwhelming demand /s

Pivot in progress, raising a $10m seed.

Getting that domain probably wasn't dirt cheap either. Kudos for the commitment.

I worry for anyone that didn't immediately realise this is satire.

I wonder how many people would take this at face value though.

"MetaMask believes this domain to have malicious intent and has prevented you from interacting with it.

This is because the site tested positive on the Ethereum Phishing Detector."

Hm, I get this too because I have MetaMask. It uses this library: https://github.com/MetaMask/eth-phishing-detect

Running the detector on 'sanctus.io' gives a fuzzy match against the whitelisted domain 'auctus.org'. That's pretty odd, and clearly is a false positive. I guess it's better safe than sorry, but there should be an error message on that page that says something like "We think this site is pretending to be auctus.org, if you think this is a false positive than click here to continue".

Same here.... Curious

Having been at the tail end of the age group that missed the normalization of 'likes' as a legitimate asset to accumulate, I'm curious what the turning point was when people no longer felt self conscious to openly admitting to collecting these virtual assets? Startups, media campaigns etc, we understood why they were doing it, money. But for most social-media users, that's obviously not the case.

I'll admit, when I had a facebook account I felt vulnerable when a post of mine didn't get too many likes but it was considered 'lame' to worry about it. Just a few years ago, it was considered a personality flaw to be preoccupied with likes and follower counts. Now it seems it's a primary and openly admitted pre-occupation of many users if not a whole generation, from average Joe's to celebrities.

Were there a set of key events that led to this normalization of what used to be a frowned upon behavior? Or was it merely a grinding away of cultural norms through persistent gamification mechanics?

The key development was growing up with an always connected smartphone. There was a period between the early 90s and the mid 00s where kids grew up with a concept of the internet, but not everyone had it, it was hard to get access to so you treated your time in it preciously, and because of this you had several other methods of communicating with friends (like actually calling their landline and actually asking their parents if they are free to talk on the phone.)

Kids who grew up in the 80s were too early to have had the internet at all. But kids who grew up in the 00s, notably after the iPhone came out in 06, grew up very differently. The internet wasn't a precious resource, but an always available utility ready to be consumed at will.

This generation is growing up in a never ending onslaught of advertisements and peer pressure the likes of which we didn't experience. They are all guinea pigs for the Facebooks of the world, subjects of the A/B psychographic targeting grind. Their dopamine receptors have been primed since birth to go crazy at the sight of a like.

Anyway, that's my take on it as someone who grew up in this tiny golden era of the internet.

I was born in 1980, and for a time was embarrassed to admit I met my first girlfriend via a local BBS. Now, I was a bit unusual in that I grew up with access to computers (mother is a programmer) -- though back during the early-mid 90s you were 'offline' most of the time, and only connected to services to check mail a few times a day (with the occasional overnight software download).

This always-online stuff is good and maddening at the same time. And I still don't "get" social media and probably never will (I don't want to either, it's a giant time sink - my wife is always pecking at her smartphone. Seriously, we're in the same house, stop texting me).

hey its me your wife

I feel like that doesn't explain the amount of effort people put into earning karma on Slashdot. It started as a way to highlight good posts and condemn bad ones to well-earned obscurity, but people worked hard for that karma. Why? Was it because it represented something to them? Because people have a drive to maximize any score publicly connected to an identity they, er, identify with? Addiction to internet points seems to have happened as soon as internet points were invented, no mobile device required. Although I'm sure there's an exception whose "failure" might be informative.

At a first pass there's a pretty simple explanation to this. It's an outwardly displayed and quantified of group social acceptance and value. High karma posts are pushed forward and get a lot of attention and high karma users are seen as valuable members because they've brought quality content/commentary to the communities. I think most points that work are like that, they're an expression of positive attention and praise which we know lights up all sorts of low level reward centers in the brain.

Look at /. as more of community. As with any community, they have their own ideas on what confers status in the group. Something as silly as a low ID number there gives you great weight in the community. Karma gives you the ability to judge others, and also to act as against the group (I have a lot of karma, so I feel I have the standing to say something unpopular and get attacked for it).

This is why people accumulate it.

Agency, fuck you points.

I have a low uid, and a ton of karma. One comment, and I get mod points.

I rarely participate these days, but when I do, it's always noticed.

These dynamics were discussed when the mod system and voting were being put together back in the day.

You can ask the same about stackoverflow reputation.

Wouldn't all the overstimulation harden them to dopamine attacks? Normally if you're exposed to something you get used to it, especially if it's a pleasure.

That's a common misconception of how dopamine works.


Is your name short for Pavlov?

> Normally if you're exposed to something you get used to it, especially if it's a pleasure.

Heroin, nicotine, sugar... People just increase dosages.

Wouldn't all the heroin harden the junkie to the effects of heroin? ;)

Yes, heroin tolerance is a thing.

Yes, but crucially it doesn't cause the user to use less heroin.

I think that’s only true if it’s a predictable reward function; if you add a random variable, in the words of Mr. Miyagi, “no can defense.”


> How do we prevent extinction? By only giving treats some of the time. So the dog learns something more subtle. When my master says come and I obey, I might get a treat. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. That way, if I obey and don’t get the treat, I shouldn’t panic. I should still always come when he says come because that’s still the best way to get the most treats. Intermittent reinforcement works better.

> This sounds like what Facebook was doing to me.

Sure, but that doesn't stop you from seeking the pleasure still. Ever been to a casino? In the worst case we call this behavior addiction.

It just means that to get the same pleasure you need more dopamine.

I think someone of the change has come from the realization that you can turn likes/eyeballs into IRL money. Whether its from things like youtube monetization or being paid to promote products and lifestyles, as I've heard people do on instagram.

I agree on this. When you have big businesses commercially incentivised to promote addictive behaviour it's going to be hard to change the collective behaviour and its potentially harmful impact

it's ok, you have a 5k rank on HN!

but... I think it just got normalized. It was like online dating, a lot of people wouldn't admit / kept it quite guarded that they met their partner online. Now it's almost odd if you didn't.

Two good friends of mine connected on a dating side and eventually got married. The funny part is that they knew each other already; the three of us were friends in college and all lived in the same dorm.

Seems to me more common on Twitter, moreso as a way of shortcuts to figuring out who (most followers) and what (most retweets/favorites) to pay attention to.

It sort of makes sense there, but it still would seem lame to me for the average person to publicly admit to caring about FB, Instagram, and Hacker News likes and engagement (obviously everyone does at least a little privately). I'm not hip though. Is this still the case or not?

>Were there a set of key events that led to this normalization of what used to be a frowned upon behavior?

Influencer marketing getting popular most likely.

It might depend on when you think it started.

Does usenet fit the bill ? (no ‘likes’ per se, but the number of answers in a thread would be a good proxy)

Or blog rings where people would link to your pages and you’d monitor link numbers and page views ?

or just the number of comments on your “guestbook” section of your blog ?

I am not sure if those were more or less legitimate to accumulate than likes. My parents sure didn’t understand what we could be doing on the internet (I passed it as a research tool while still studying) but friends would proudly show their blog numbers, there was a hierarchy of well respected posters on boards, and there was a clear social effect IRL during off meetings.

In a way I think the numbers game started the minute something could be counted regarding stuff you did online.

I'm at the tail end too, and don't "get it" but I can see it for what it is, I think. I think for a number of people, money is more of an achievement than something you convert in to goods and services. It's a number on a leaderboard to track and I think likes/favorites/hearts on Social Media may be real similar and far easier to achieve since there is little to no risk and very little work required. They collect them for recognition, self-esteem and to rank higher on a leaderboard, not much more to it. They are earning that next level and winning a game.

Pretending to be what you view as normal/perfect is nothing new. Every family in the 50s was not Leave It To Beaver.

If anything, you might be seeing seeing the tail-end of that kind of pretending. But probably not. The internet is just the newest place to keep up appearances to those around you.

those that now what a dial-up modem sounds like and those that don't, and to think there was also a time when it was a big deal to be able to also talk on the phone while surfing the information superhighway

Wow, they used a picture I took of my remote office for the 'Yeah My Job Lets Me Travel' section. I don't know if I feel good or bad about that...

Hah, what a coincidence. That's the same picture I took of my remote office!

This is the best joke on HN I've seen all day.

Hah, what a coincidence as well. This is the best joke on HN I've seen all day.

Did they have your permission? Because they explicitly say that the difference between them and catfishing is that they have permission...

I posted the picture on Unsplash, so yeah they are free to use it however they wish. I can see that a good amount of the pictures shown are taken from there. In a way sites like Unsplash make the problem they are describing worse. I have seen my travel pictures used on many different IG accounts, sometimes even as the profile pic.

You might want to lead with "they used a picture I uploaded to a free use stock photography site" in your original comment.

I'm glad you get to travel. (no sarcasm!) I wanted to mention though that I am seeing irony in this.

I definitely get that. People post lifestyle pics to stock photo sites as the ultimate humblebrag; they get that little dopamine hit out of seeing others use their life on websites, posts, etc. I think that is a big reason why all the 'free for any use' websites get so many uploads. I find it much more rewarding than posting to social media.

If you are not a photographer, how is this rewarding?

I do not understand this epidemic. I can’t imagine caring the least bit about “likes” and it seems like I’m in the minority.

I don't care about likes either. You don't get many likes on a stock photo site even if you are a pro anyway. I got into uploading simply to use them as a photo host, but later it became an outlet for the basic effort I put into being more creative with photography (learning LR). The logic many use is that it is better to upload photos than just have them collect dust. Besides, it is fun to be browsing the web and see pictures you have taken. The reach of Unsplash and other sites is really impressive. My pics are meh quality at best and yet they still have ~60M views. Real photographers have way more than that with one approaching 1B views.

The site is satire. they're not selling anything.

Satire is protected by fair use.

I'm assuming you're talking about US Copyright law.

Satire isn't protected by Fair Use. Parodies are.

Satire will make a more broad point--in this case, the damaging effects on mental health that social media plays. Any use of copyrighted works won't likely be protected.

Parody would be something smaller--like creating a website that looks similar to Instagram, using humor to criticize it.

It actually can be protected by fair use -- it's ruled on a case-by-case basis: http://www.newseuminstitute.org/first-amendment-center/topic... (scroll to end) You're right in that there is no BLANKET protection, but it has been used for protection before and continues to be.

Don't you have to actually satirize the content being used, though? It would seem that using images to create a satire of something totally separate would require permission.

You're correct, thinking you're allowed to steal anything just because you're going to put it in a content satirizing something else is such a huge misunderstanding of the law.

E.g. you can use melody from a Justin Bieber song to make fun of him/the subject matter of the song, but if you make a video to make fun of Trump and you use Bieber's song as the background music, nope!

You're not likely to get taken to court though, are you? You would expect to receive a cease and desist letter or a DMCA takedown first, right?

If you weren't making any money off it, and it wasn't your intention to make money, and you had no monetisation avenues active, and you only made a handful of infringing media, during a brief period, what's the worst that could happen?

Parody is only protected in the context of copying the thing it is parodying. Beyond that copyright applies.

...where do you work?

For my own startup. I quit my corporate life and took a year to tour New Zealand while slowly spinning up/planning everything. More or less stereotypical life-crisis stuff. Obligatory Medium post: https://medium.com/@TylerLastovich/pressing-shuffle-on-life-...

I found this quote quite amusing from your article:

> I moved from staying in AirBnB’s to hostels and learned so much from travelers living outside of our money-culture

I generally prefer to stay in hostels, and even lived in one in Wellington for a year. I find it strange to be descried as "living outside money-culture". I guess a lot of people in the working holiday/backpacker community are though; working to live, rather than living to work.

A year in a hostel is impressive! In NZ it blew my mind how many people lived very happy lives yet almost never mentioned money, career trajectories, and to a large extent–the internet. I found this really refreshing as I had never been exposed to that kind of thinking before, the polar opposite of startup culture in the US. I specifically remember staying with a group of fruit pickers that were some of the happiest people I have ever met, even though none of them had more than a thousand dollars in the bank.

You don't look quite midlife and going travelling a year seems quite a sensible thing to do. Americans seem to regard a year off as more of a crisis than the rest of the world where it's kind of normal.

Oh. I could've written the same post, I am just before buying a ticket somewhere. Would love to get in touch, if that's possible.

Sure, feel free to message me at tyler(at)lastovich.me.

great to know I can have my life crisis here in NZ :)

How did they got photos of my wife's body, and also two of my lovers! I'm pissed. /s

I'm starting to wonder if that is a picture of my heirloom foosball table or someone else's

I lol'ed at the:

Why has my girlfriend turned into a boyfriend?

There was a common issue that has since been fixed where boyfriend photos were accidentally posted instead of girlfriends. We have since corrected the issue and removed all posts made in error.

It's the only thing on the page that gives away it is satire wo/ clicking a link

I use the Face app to enhance my face/dating profile pics especially the goatee which changes your skin tone and adds a furrier goatee. It’s not a huge tweak to how I look so those who I go on dates or hook up with haven’t said anything and our subsequent dates or hook ups continued.

Overall the Internet is and slowly becoming less of a trustworthy source for much of anything. Thus dating apps that force u to take a pic of yourself thru the app no outside pics is probably going to become a thing.

Not really. You just don't have enough integrity to roll with your actual look. I wouldn't be so quick to blame that on anything but yourself.

In fact, it's in your best interest to be as honest as you can upfront so a woman's first impression of you isn't "hmm, he looked better in his photos :/"

>You just don't have enough integrity to roll with your actual look.

Everyone I know touches up their dating pics somehow. Let's not even get into how your statement relates to makeup, I'm talking about actual modifications to the picture through filters or even straight-up photoshop.

So what? I'm not talking about women and make-up. But I'd say the same about a man wearing foundation to round out his blemishes.

The truth is you're really doctoring your images to satisfy your weak ego. And the sooner you acknowledge that, the healthier.

Trying to rope in other people with "but others do it" only demonstrates even weaker integrity. Though I guarantee you're overestimating the number of touch ups using something like Face App. Not really the same as some 80s VHS Instagram filter or whatever.

>The truth is you're really doctoring your images to satisfy your weak ego.

I don't think this is true if everyone is doing it. It's like an arms race, you have to do it just to reach a baseline, as opposed to doing it to stand out.

Something similar that occurs in online dating is that guys add 1-2 inches to their height. The vast majority of men do this. I'm somewhere between 5'10 and 5'11, and most people my height list themselves as 6'+, so I started doing it too, and there's been a noticeable difference in the number of matches I get.

If I put my actual height, women will assume I'm under 5'9, because every guy who is 5'8 is listing themselves as 5'10.

You can claim that I'm being "insecure", but I've never been dishonest about my actual height in person. I used to just round down and put 5'10 because I really didn't care, and I'd always get remarks about how I was taller than they expected. Funnily enough, lots of people who are the same height as me really do believe they are 6' because this exaggeration has become so common, and the average adult doesn't measure their height properly and just goes off what everyone else says.

no im using it to get laid and live life silly because its all about how you look until it isnt and then your old and no one is looking at you. MIght as well do what you can to enjoy the time you have here and sow your wild oats.

How do you protect yourself from HPV etc?

My guess: with what appears to be a dazzling personality.

If you're a woman you can get a vaccine. Other than that there's no way to reasonably avoid it besides abstinence. If you've had more than one sexual partner then chances are you already have it.

HPV vaccinations are now recommended for both genders for people under the age of 26 for the most part

> Though I guarantee you're overestimating the number of touch ups

Is this really your experience? Because that would be surprising. I see the damn snapchat eye enlargement on pretty much every second female dating profile photo nowadays.

It gets better when you stop trying to match with 18-26 year olds.

Oh snaaap.

I don't see how an app that showed less attractive people could be more successful. Dating is inherently going to be "buyer beware" from now on, not that it hasn't that way for a long time.

Well with all things on the Internet and as time continues to school not only us techies but all INternet users that most of what you see is fake that's going to be a need for veracity. Those who are already good looking to hot might flock to a dating app that ensures the pics they see for prospects are indeed real.

Overall a system needs to be created to ensure veracity on the Internet or it's just going to become a joke.. unbelievable!

That system sounds terrifying itself.

Who runs such a system? What is their motive or mandate for doing so? Which governments will directly or indirectly control it? How will it deal with things that are unpopular yet true? How will it be gamed by malicious actors?

just a thought otherwise the Internet looks to becomes a joke and maybe that's not a bad thing!

> good looking


This is brilliant satire but I feel like a real service like this may already exist, or will exist soon. It's the next logical step.

I was actually disappointed it's not real. If services like this were widely used, eventually it would devalue the likes and social personas and everyone would just start ignoring it.

I care very little about things like this, but if it were really $1 per month, it’d be very tempting to get this just for fun.

I think a real version would have to cost a lot more than that. But the service price can be reduced as it scales to more users.

I'd say it already exists in the form of the consulting media gig. It's just not automated yet.

I would actually love to use the non-satire version of this service.

What if you do have the money and could indeed make time and also want to do a lot of travel, have awesome friends, eat nice dinner, do weekend partying, and own all those things, but you are simply too lazy?

A lot of the social media personas are made to impress, a proof that fun was had and life was liven, but nobody can really prove those things unless they're also eye witnesses, and people probably wouldn't question the authenticity of someone's social postings unless they do not match the financial or social status of such person.

Say you do want to maintain this "perfect" social image and are just lazy do all the things yourselves, then would it make sense to hire someone to do the things you want to for you and post it on your behalf, or photoshop yourself into every image, and tell you that you totally could have done exactly that?

Is faking a unpractical life style different from faking a practical one?

> What if you do have the money and could indeed and also want to do a lot of travel, have awesome friends, eat nice dinner, do weekend partying, and own all those things, but you simply do not have the time?

That makes it ethical... right?

Updated my comment to make it a bit more clear. I guess I was wondering about what it all means to cast a "real" image on social media anyway.

My coach said something like: Focus on yourself. Don't care what other people think. If someone laughs at you, then great, it means they are not focusing on themselves and you will have an advantage. If someone thinks you're a looser, it doesn't matter, you can still have a happy life, while others are occupied on trying to look good, you can spend that energy on improving yourself to reach your own goals and desires. In my own coaching I try to make sure goals have intrinsic motivation, not based on what other people think. For example a bad motive is "I want to have big muscles so others will respect me", vs a good motive is "I want to have big muscles so I will feel better about myself". So don't have a party just to show off on Facebook how a good life you have, instead, forbid cameras and enjoy yourself.


Buying photos probably isn't a sustainable way to maintain a profile. On the other hand, the transformation of ordinary photos into "perfect instagram photos" seems plausibly doable by some form of generative neural nets (akin to the style transfer and fake celebrity apps). Obviously, such photos would need to be also human vetted but this could open up a lot of possibilities.

And sure, this site is fake but I don't think instagram insanity is going away just with site pointing to mental health considerations. You'd need to change society, how people relate to fame and so-forth.

Letting literally everyone fake perfection actually seems more plausible as a way to escape the insanity of everyone wanting to be celebrity compared to links to psychologists talking about problems. It would be great "raising awareness" could help problems but I think history shows awareness raising does nearly nothing especially compared to giving someone a tool operate differently. For example, there's at least claims that most plastic surgery patients really do feel happier long term - at least for simple changes.

> Letting literally everyone fake perfection

The reverse of Harrison Bergeron? Somehow more humane and workable.


One of my favourite short stories. Short, punchy, and it makes a poignant observation.

it sums up the objection to equality very well. is there a "socialists' response" to this?

I know it's a parody, but it's not a horrible business idea, and some agencies do similar with their clients. Many models etc you may follow in Instagram really have an agency that schedules posts that aren't even from that day to keep social engagement up, they have post scheduler and mix in day to day content. The pictures of people with their feet hanging out of a helicopter or tent, etc, are largely compositions. It's a big business. CNBC, I believe, did a special on this. It was fairly mind blowing.

Exactly. Its's not that by now anyone believes any of that s#%t is real. It's more like, you have an audience and they want to be entertained. You posting things is acknowledging that and demonstrating you do the best you can to deliver top notch entertainment. Social media representing actual reality would be abysmally boring. You can get boatloads of reality just by walking out your door. But where would be the fun in that?

The counter/antidote also seems like it could be a good business idea. Seems like there'd be value in helping people navigate social media in a healthier, less depressing ways.

Philip K. Dick "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale?" Next step will be to implant memories to go along with the pics ...

This is brilliant. What's worrying is that this could quite possibly be a valid, profitable business idea. Maybe even using deep fakes to put your face on a moving jetski or something. It would probably impress a lot of people while the tech is still fairly esoteric.

Deep fakes to get genuine look positive reviews from previous dates. All you need is a few seconds of video and audio of their face.

Are you only half-way through the JS course at Code Academy? Afraid of being rejected for coding jobs? Do you know the posted requirements are BS, and you're confident you can grow into any developer role?

For the next 30 days, you can buy a "JobHunter Special": listing as "current employee" on a corporate website, live email replies from 2 "former" companies in case of a reference check, and 30 commits on a Github "project".

We also offer the "Personality Special" Wordpress vanity blog package! Choose between the "team compassion" ( two photoshopped weeks of volunteering at a children's hospital in Southeast Asia) or the "risktaker" ( a photoshopped 10 day canoe tour in the Amazon). All photos include valid EXIF data for dates and locations.


In the video, the first girl interviewed is shaking her head "no" while talking. I see that often in people being interviewed like this. It's just extra obvious here. Another typical example is someone being interviewed like "we're investing a lot in this project in our school which is great for the students [shakes head no while saying so]" or e.g. a kickstarter video like "this product is going to revolutionize the ..... [shakes head no while mellow guitar music plays in the background]"

What does the no shake mean? Does it mean what they're telling is not true? Or is there some other reason why people instinctively shake no while talking in interviews?

I think it's a pretty common gesture, maybe meaning roughly "you won't believe this," or "I'm slightly breathless with amazement." My four-year-old actually does this gesture when describing something amazing, and I don't see myself or my wife doing it.

But gestures are so hard to translate. I grew up in Italy, famous of course for its gestures. One of the most common is making an "OK" symbol with your fingers and drawing little short straight lines downwards with it. What does it mean? I doubt many of the people using it could put it into word, precisely. But we learn it the way we learn language, the same way we use intonation to turn a statement into a question, without it ever being taught.

I doubt it's the same cultural effect, but in India head-shaking while talking (usually to indicate agreement or understanding) is super common, and often throws visitors off when they see someone saying "Of course" while vigorously shaking their head!

I take it as adding emphasis to their statements. As a way to convey intensity. I probably would have never noticed it if you hadn't pointed it out. Maybe it's a new mannerism, like vocal fry.

The real version of this can be found here: http://www.theinstadream.com/

Unfortunately the real version doesn't have the videos to convince me why I need this.

For those who don't want to download the 15.0 MB presskit zip file at the end, but still want to know what it contains:

  ├── ~$fefaker.docx
  ├── lifefaker-pressrelease.docx
  ├── lifefaker-pressrelease.pdf
  └── Screenshots : Banners
      ├── lifefaker site 1.jpg
      ├── lifefaker site 2.jpg
      ├── lifefaker site 3.jpg
      ├── lifefaker site 4.jpg
      ├── lifefaker site 5.jpg
      ├── lifefaker site 6.jpg
      ├── lifefaker site 7.jpg
      ├── lifefaker site 8.jpg
      ├── lifefaker site 9.jpg
      ├── longbanner-lifefaker-1.jpg
      ├── longbanner-lifefaker-2.jpg
      ├── longbanner-lifefaker-3.jpg
      ├── squarebanner-lifefaker-1.jpg
      └── squarebanner-lifefaker-2.jpg
The pdf gives a basic overview of what the site pretends to do, then says:

> "However, anyone who tries to use Lifefaker.com will learn the real purpose of the project. They’ll receive a message from Sanctus, a mental health start-up. The site reminds us that we’ve all felt the pressures of social media – with 62% of people feeling inadequate comparing their lives to those online. The site users can click through to Sanctus.io for a film exploring the unhealthy behaviours on social media that impact our mental health, and what we can do to change them.

> Download Stills | Download Film "

This pretty much summarized 90% of IG accounts.

They just need a "Look at all the famous people I know" option :)

The "I'm an influencer" package

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Great satire site. I also remember this video which I thought was really well-done about social media versus real life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxVZYiJKl1Y

Wow that video was great, funny yet poignant. One of the comments was eye opening as well. Cassandra Smith says '"The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else's highlight reel" - Steven Furtick' I think that correlates well with what lifefaker was trying to point out. Our amateur 'lives' aren't necessarily comparable to post-edited big studio 'lives'.

What I'd really encourage people is to try acting classes. It's a weird form of therapy whereas the focus is not you, as when you go to a therapist, but inadvertently the things you do there work on yourself.

Here's an excerpt from a book on the actor's craft. “You asked me a question,” Bill says, looking at Jon. “You asked me, ‘How can we get better at processing our emotions?’ You should all turn off your cell phones. Shut down your computers. Click off your iPods and your televisions and everything you listen to that isn’t human. Modern society has surrounded us with these things and they’re killing us. We’re beginning to forget what it is simply to breathe and eat and laugh and watch and wonder and listen and experience one another. We’re forgetting how to be human beings with actual opinions and genuine feelings and originality. And if we can’t be human, how can we ever hope to be artists"

This guy who taught acting classes for 30 years, is able to see clearly what technology has done for human contact.

If you think about it, it really makes sense that there's something really fundamental for us humans in acting. It's an art that has been with us for thousands of years, and has withstood the test of time.

and yet ironically, one of the goals of acting + writing is to transform this human contact and emotional experience into a form that can be consumed with computers, ipods, televisions and cellphones.

Does it not only provide you with the content but also schedule the distribution like Buffer?

For better or for worse I feel there is definitely a market for some version of this.

This is not a real service. Try to buy one of their packages and it brings up a page that says:

You're not alone. 62% of people feel inadequate comparing their lives to others online.

Then links to some mental health article on social media.

I’m apparently #blessed to have grown up in that middle era remembering before and after the internet where I think it’s less likely to have this type of insecurity.

I wish i had a crystal ball to see if were social media is going, for me, away is the only answer. For everyone else... I really can’t tell when it will peak.

That black mirror on the topic episode was so good!

Isn't this actually a marketing ploy to get people to read about the negative effects of social media?

ha they got me. Thanks for sharing.

I would legitimately buy this to subtly troll my friends and wait to see how long it took them to figure out that I was just posting stock photos over and over.

Is it just me that doesn't have any of the images loading up?

Looks like a hug of death. Many resources aren't loading at all on that site anymore

I'm getting this, too. Maybe their image server can't handle the front-page-of-HN load.

For some reason uBlock Origin blocked all the images for me. I had to temporarily disable it.

Some friends and I joked about something similar as a service - We would run secure Android VMs to spoof GPS coordinates & camera inputs, which would allow you to checkin & submit content to social media apps - all to achieve unprecedented levels of humble bragging.

I really want to do a Whois search and have it say George Costanza as the owner of this site.

Really it needs to say "Art Vandelay"

This feels like a GTAV radio ad.

Totally. Wasn't the satirical version of facebook called lifeinvader in that game? very similar :)

I wished it was a real service. They should have scheduled uploads and some kind of travel package so it look like you are on a back packing trip or something. You could add this as sabbatical on your resume.

Just got back from a trip around Asia, man, it’s a lot of WORK posting photos with little blips about them. I refuse to use Facebook or Instagram, but Flickr was the same process and still took time away from the trip.

I seriously don’t understand how people with selfie compulsion snapping hundreds of photos a day make time to sort through them.

Now there’s a service: you take the photos; we’ll curate them, caption them, and post them on the right social channels at the right times for maximum reach. Like a consumer-level PR agency.

Whoa. That’s actually something! Hand selected at first then machine learning to find photos with good light and focus, repetition of face angles you like, then filtered for a human for final approval.

Why take this pictures at all? Just get the photographer as an extra to an all inclusive holiday package [1]

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2015/aug/27/instagram-pro...

https://buffer.com is similar if you want

Hope they release a "My Startup is Killing It" package.

This sounds like a perfect LinkedIn premium tier

Posted with a straight face by a startup with no actual qualifications for talking about mental health, but with an Instagram full of smiling people and pithy quotes.

Because the road to perfection begins with money.

Also relevant (tangential), the Center for Humane Technology[1]. Their “This Panda is Dancing”[1] video explains the problem and their mission.

[1]: http://humanetech.com/

[2]: https://youtu.be/tf9ZhU7zF8s (3m49s)

My life is far from perfect and I don't try paint a perfect version on Instagram.. but my photos could be in these packages.

Just went to Borneo jungles by long boat. If i used fb/insta I might post those pics knowing but also not caring if someone else compared themselves to me. The dopamine hit from likes is real, I think it’s best to avoid even if you do cool things.

Really, if you do cool things and are an actually cool person, you don’t need to broadcast it.

When I do cool things I often meet new people. I connect with them through Insta and enjoy seeing their photos of the cool thing. I get to see their perspective and things I might not have done/seen.

I would enjoy seeing someones experience of the Borneo jungles because I haven't been and from a quick google it looks like something I would enjoy.

You do have a point about the hit from likes and I have to admit that I have taken photos with the mindset "this will go on Instagram".. but maybe that is not so bad. Insta and the people who post on it are like a community and once you approach it right you can get a lot from it.

I do cool things, but I'm not a cool person. I sometimes broadcast the cool things I do.

I do admit, I try to dominate the hashtag that is tied to my son.

As someone in their 20s I'm always amazed (and i'm sure my peers in the same age group are) by how many people become somewhat famous on Instagram. The people doing it usually don't have jobs that could find the kind of lifestyles they portray, so where do they get this money from?

Debt possibly. I personally knew a few people that would spend money they don't have just to show off IRL before social media was a thing, and I can see doing it to a larger audience being much more efficient.

My coach said something like: Focus on yourself. Don't care what other people think. If someone laughs at you, then great, it means they are not focusing on themselves and you will have an advantage. If someone thinks you're a looser, it doesn't matter, you can still have a happy life, while others are occupied on trying to look good, you can spend that energy on improving yourself to reach your own goals and desires. In my own coaching I try to make sure goals have intrinsic motivation, not based on what other people think. For example a bad motive is "I want to have big muscles so others will respect me", vs a good motive is "I want to have big muscles so I will feel better about myself". So don't have a party just to show off on Facebook how a good life you have, instead, forbid cameras and enjoy yourself.

My coach said something like: Focus on yourself. Don't care what other people think. If someone laughs at you, then great, it means they are not focusing on themselves and you will have an advantage. If someone thinks you're a looser, it doesn't matter, you can still have a happy life, while others are occupied on trying to look good, you can spend that energy on improving yourself to reach your own goals and desires. In my own coaching I try to make sure goals have intrinsic motivation, not based on what other people think. For example a bad motive is "I want to have big muscles so others will respect me", vs a good motive is "I want to have big muscles so I will feel better about myself". So don't have a party just to show off on Facebook how a good life you have, instead, forbid cameras and enjoy yourself

A twist on "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" by Philip K. Dick in 1966.

Given that a huge percentage of social media behavior is manufactured, staged, and almost always aimed at social signaling, it's only a matter of time before this moves beyond parody and into reality.

"Lifefaker.com is a fictitious website" Clearly, it isn't.

I’m not a very active contributor here, but the only points I occasionally find myself paying attention to are the ones on HN. It actually means something to get a few replies.

Darn, I was hoping to buy some of these and create a fake account to see how many followers I could accumulate, kind of like "Ultra superficial".

All images broken for me on Chrome/Android mobile.

Sadly, I already thought of this at some point; it was probably when I was looking at my totally unimpressive Facebook wall.

This is a great marketing idea! Congrats. I haven’t heard of Sanctus before

Seems to be hugged to death, the photos are sporadically broken URLs.

Maybe someone is testing a hypothesis. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Is it a YC company? Just curious. :)

I'm sure there will be several applicants this winter, pitching an idea like that. You've got to sell that shovel before the gold rush is over.

Let's fix that title, please :)

Fantastic! Great job faking faking!

I'm so unhappy that this isn't real. The amount of competitive trolling I could do with this...


Real services like this do exist though.

add some deep fake ai to still images and make a business out of this

Great parody bringing attention to the fact people only share the best moments of their life

where's the vertical scrollbar? :<


just great!!!

I would like an enterprise version of this. Say I want to rewrite my entire career, the service could build up an entire resume and educational background that turns me into a perfect candidate for a company I’m applying to, or makes me look like a big shot that everyone wants to network with or invest in my companies. And if people want references there could be live operators waiting to take calls and give a glowing review. Yes!

One of Peterson's rules for life: If you have to choose between being seen doing something, and doing something, choose the ladder.

Sounds like a rule for being a master thief


"life is the place" translated from Google Translate?

just great!!!!

I like this satire, it's making a fun statement. I was mildly surprised though by the images they chose for "my unachievable body" for men. The women's examples were definitely absurd, but of the two dudes one was just a guy with unremarkable arms deadlifting, and another was just a dude with low bodyfat. Why didn't they go with like a mr Olympia or something? Maybe it's a statement on how much easier it is for men to be considered to have "a hot bod" than woman?

"Unremarkable arms"? "Just a dude with low body fat"?

Not sure what circles you're in, but I know exactly one person that looks even remotely as good as those two guys. For about 95% of the world population, these are unachievable bodies.

I also take issue with the idea that these are "unachievable", as if it's physically impossible for all but 5% of the genetically gifted, and there's no point in the rest of us trying because we weren't born that way.

The reality is that most could achieve these physiques if they wanted to, it's just that nobody wants to put in the effort of lifting at least 3x a week for at least 30 mins a day, strictly counting calories, (I would say taking anabolic steroids but those pics definitely look achievable naturally).

So I'd say it's not an issue of "can't", it's an issue of "won't". And that's totally fine to not prioritize that, but don't discourage those who might otherwise want to.

For anyone reading this who wants to try strength training, I can attest that it's worth it. Regardless of where you start, if you follow the process you will look better and be healthier than you began. Many see noticeable changes within as little as 3 months. Within the circles I know, people look better and get stronger every year, and building strength helps with so many other activities, so it'll give you a leg up when you're trying indoor climbing, or yoga, or paddleboarding, etc.

Concur that strength training is worth it, but it doesn't automatically give you anything like those appearances even if the amount you can lift goes up substantially.

Calorie counting that strictly seems to be psychologically gruelling for most people. (This will start an argument in comments, but I'll just point out that telling someone that something they find extremely difficult is something you find easy has never in the history of education enabled anyone to do anything)

I don't find it easy either though, it was a huge pain and I could only pull it off for a tow years because I obsessed over it: I lived and breathed fitness until I could find a new weight to maintain. I spent my free time reading fitness forums, watching fitness channels for fun, etc.

With that same amount of time I could have put serious work into my other hobbies like electronics or made more career moves. I probably sacrificed that for fitness, but I don't regret it.

These days I've dropped the obsession to work on other things. I still go to the gym twice a week for maintenance, and my weight fluctuates more around my new goal weight, but I've gotten used to my metabolism.

All-in-all I'm very thankful to be healthier, and I hope others find a similar joy in strength training or physical exercise. It's a lot of work, but it's so worth it! No matter where you start, you can make progress.

The fact that it's not automatic doesn't mean that it is now unbelievable and unachievable. That's the point. Fitness is not magic or something only a precious few inherited from having good genes. Most people would naturally be fairly fit, were it not for the sedentary lives we live since childhood.

"Unachievable".... this is often the reaction I see to fitness.

It's understandable; I think. By labelling someone's body perfect or unachievable, we can pay a complement, whilst shielding the body from casual nitpicking or disregard. No one wants to say "I like X", then have to defend their opinion about how good someone looks. As a side-benefit, you also don't have to strive to achieve the same yourself, nor defend why you aren't striving because it's "perfect".

I don't think any of these bodies---male nor female are unachievable. Do I hang out only with models and professional athletes? Nope. Almost anyone who is a young moderately athletic adult has a similar body---identical? Nah, after all these are photographs of models, but it's close enough that it's not going to blow anyones mind to see it.

For anyone who has ever been an athlete---highschool or college--they would recall seeing people who looked like this (or looking like this yourself). It's not an impossible dream; just a path you didn't follow.

That's a far cry from "unachievable".


I think the female images are a lot closer to "unachievable" than the male images because of how much narrower the acceptable range in hip width, fat distribution, etc (genetic factors) is and it isn't something that can be fixed by adjusting your caloric input or working out more as it often can be for men.

For instance my high school and university swim teams were full of people who looked like the men in these images, but of the women almost none had similar bodies to these women (despite being extremely strong/fit/disciplined/etc).

At the end of the day though I'm not surprised that a website that mainly caters to a group of people who traditionally spend a lot of time sitting down (at work and at home) and often didn't grow up participating in team sports would consider images of fit people unrealistic.

It's absolutely unachievable once they factor in their willpower and discipline.

The caption is "unachievable." The first body is achievable for anybody not morbidly obese within less than a year of gym training. The second body doesn't even require you to go to the gym, just monitor your calories.

So both are probably unachievable to somebody that's already crossed maybe the 35%bf threshold, but step outside of America and that's not anywhere near the majority...

What kind of crowd do you hang with? The only remarkable thing about the first guy's arms is he's pretty vascular.

I'm guessing you're young... once you hit 30, your mind is probably going to change on this.

You're going to gatekeep fitness to me, after seemingly demonstrating less fitness confidence? I'm three years from 30, it's already hitting me. It doesn't really change the basic calculus of calories in, calories out.

Most people's metabolisms change as they age and most people generally have less time and energy as life commitments increase. Sure, if someone at 30+ had a lot of time and money and put all their effort in to fitness, I'm sure they could attain what you implied is achievable without too much effort. Why that body is unattainable for most is due to real life concerns like sitting at work for hours to earn a paycheck and raising a family.

That grip is too wide to be a deadlift. It’s probably snatch. Or just a badly posed photo.

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