It Is Really Easy To Dupe People On Facebook

An obviously fake Facebook page claiming to be Timothy Bradley, Jr.’s made a post claiming that he would return his belt to Manny Pacquiao following Saturday’s controversial decision. But thousands of people bought into the ruse.

Around 7 p.m. last night, a Facebook page claiming to be Timothy Bradley, Jr.’s posted this update.

The page followed up this morning with an update:

LOOK AT THIS OLD, SLIMY GREASEBALL IN THE MIDDLE. IF YOU DONT KNOW WHO HE IS, THE NAME IS BOB ARUM. HE IS A LIAR, FRAUD, MONEY HUNGRY SCUMBAG. HE WORKS AS CEO OF TOP RANK AND PROMOTES FIGHTERS LIKE ME AND MANNY PACQUIAO. AFTER TELLING HIM ABOUT MY PLANS TO RETURN THE BELT TO PACQUIAO, HE TOLD ME THAT THERE IS TOO MUCH MONEY TO BE MADE IN THE NEXT REMATCH AND THAT I SHOULD HOLD ONTO IT. WELL U KNOW WHAT FUCK YOU BOB ARUM I AM DONE WITH TOP RANK. BOB ARUM IS NO LONGER MY PROMOTER THE BELT WILL BE HANDED PERSONALLY TO PACQUIAO. WHETHER I RETIRE OR NOT, WHO KNOWS. I HOPE I AM DOING THE RIGHT THING. THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU ALL, AND ONCE AGAIN A BIG FUCK U TO BOB ARUM. UPDATE: After this heated argument, I have decided to be signed by legendary Boxing Promoter and Trainer Draxor (45+ years of experience, trained and managed Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Roy Jones Jr and other boxing icons, is not all about $$ - has pledged to donate 15% of all profits made by his promotional company) Check his page out — with Draxor.

Alongside the screed, whoever’s running the account posted this picture of Bradley with Bob Arum.

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Let us count the ways in which this is obviously not true:

1. The page’s first posts came yesterday, in the wake of Bradley’s career-capping win over Pacquiao.

2. As if that weren’t enough, the bulk of the page’s activities have been suspicious: interacting with commenters, posting pointless rejoinders to his critics, answering weird questions.

3. Bradley hasn’t tweeted since before the fight.

4. He claims to be joining a boxing promoter named “Draxor,” which a link to a Facebook page.

The Draxor bio is particularly laughable:

Boxing promoter and trainer. Currently managing and handling top-tier athletes including Timothy Bradley, Amir Khan, Sergio Martinez and David Haye. Have worked with boxing legends/icons such as Ali leading up to his fight with Frazier, and working with Roy Jones Jr on his quest to becoming heavyweight champion. Been in the boxing business for over 45 years

Amir Khan and David Haye are both managed by Oscar de la Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions. And there’s no trace of anyone named “Draxor” in the annals of boxing history. In fact, the only place you get from googling “Draxor” is to this Facebook — which, curiously, has 8,000 likes despite no posts or activity — and a Reddit user page.

And that profile picture?

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Pretty well known as a symbol of Anonymous, which isn’t exactly known for being a huge player in boxing.

But yet, the post has generated plenty of discussion:

So what the hell is going on here? Presumably, someone decided to have a little fun with a topic that the public is currently obsessed with. (Someone who likes Runescape, whatever that is — it’s listed as an interest of Timothy Bradley.) What’s even more interesting is that this obviously fake account, authentic only in the most surface and casual details, has managed to confuse so many people.

So far, the post announcing his “new management” has nearly 4,500 likes, 1,000 shares, and 430 comments. The follow-up post has 251 likes, 75 shares, and 55 comments. Plenty of users are posting sincere questions and comments on the wall. And “Bradley” is interacting with them, meaning that the subterfuge has begun to move both ways.

I’ve messaged both Bradley and Draxor asking why they created the ruse. I’ll update the post if I hear back.

UPDATE: Sure enough, Timothy Bradley took to Twitter this afternoon, and his tweets completely contradict the Facebook posts.

UPDATE 2: Well, there you go!

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