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Social engineering is a euphemism for lying or hiding the truth. It is at its core based on manipulation and as any tool it can be used for good of for bad. Using it to get sex is not what I consider "greater good".

I suppose calling it engineering does make one feel better though... it almost sounds like something positive.




To quote Dr. Gregory House, everybody lies (and hides the truth). Especially during dates. Why do you think the cliché advice for dating is "be yourself"?

For an amusing view of how the world would be without the lying, watch the movie The Invention of Lying.


Lying is probably unavoidable. There are innocent lies, or lies that are told for the greater good - these can be acceptable, although they should still be regarded with suspicion.

And then there are lies like the one in this example. Where not only the lie is self-serving, but it had the potential to hurt other people. Imagine you're one of the other guys using the service and you try to talk to one of those fake profiles. You get your hopes up and then the fake profile cuts communication or plays a practical joke and invites you on a date. Don't you think that's at least a little cruel?


Being cruel to people is cruel. You can accomplish that by telling the truth too ("Yes you are fat", "Santa does not exist").

Lying is a tool, it can be used for good or bad.


> Lying is a tool, it can be used for good or bad.

That's precisely the point. Here lying was done for personal gains.


>You can accomplish that by telling the truth too ("Yes you are fat", "Santa does not exist").

Why are your examples cruel?

Someone learns that they need to address their weight problems before it affects their health badly or if they want to woo you or whatever.

Someone else learns that they receive presents not because they've been good but because people regard them; I was going to say love instead of regard but that's not always true.

Sure you can say things in cruel ways ...


They are cruel because they hurt (and it's beside the point to know whether that's a rational reaction) and you know it. When you do on purpose something to hurt someone, and unless there's some greater usefulness to it and no other way to do or put it, that's cruelty.


> Imagine you're one of the other guys using the service and you try to talk to one of those fake profiles.

Ok, not hard to imagine. I'm using the service, I message one of those fake profiles (amongst the other multiple of profiles I message). I get no response, figure she is not interested and move on (just like most other messages to profiles).

Yes I think it's cruel if they used them to play jokes. Worse yet is that I know people who are using this for financial gain. They setup fake profiles in dating sites, and respond with messages containing premium rate phone lines. They made millions, got fined in one country but the profits made elsewhere made up for that.


Umm, you're making a big assumption that the fake profiles didn't respond. I got the distinct impression from the original article that the fake profiles were kept active. Will that modify your opinion?

Article says: "My two friends operated the 50 accounts while I found the prettiest ..."


Well then, if that is the case, he still technically didn't lie, his friends did. And what isn't a friend if he won't be your wingman?


I was only clarifying the mistaken impression you had that there was no ongoing deception. Clearly to you, the presence of ongoing deception is equivalent to lack of it. Which answers my question to you. Thanks.


Lies != Deceit.


Deception is but one tool in the social engineer's kit.

If you're good you can get what you want without making any assertive statements whatsoever, just by using the right tone of voice.


> Using it to get sex is not what I consider "greater good".

Helping smart people procreate could be considered "greater good"


perhaps if they weren't morally broken. (blah blah, morals are gray, etc etc)


I cannot get the "morally broken" thing. What they did, mostly, is to distract their competition and gather information on their targets.

Keep in mind the targets are not passive ones and if they actually engaged in a relationship with those folks, it was because they wanted it. I never went to a second date with a girl I didn't like.


If you are a more interesting date and shape yourself into a better/more interesting/more exciting person because of it, where's the harm?




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