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Jeff Hancock is a professor at Cornell University who lectures on how the Internet affects communication and he introduces three types of lies in this deception keynote. Hancock reveals that humans lie at least once or twice a day, and this deception that is a centrality of humans continues to fascinate researchers and scientists everywhere.
The first type of lie ushered in the digital age is the ‘Butler’ lie, which is used as a buffer to get someone off one’s back for the time being. An example is a text that could say “on my way or “gotta go, at work.”
The second lie is referred to as the “sock puppet,” which is about identity. Hancock offers an example of an author who take on a second identity to write positive reviews online about a book he recently published.
The third lie is called the “Chinese Water Army” and this refers to the thousands of people that are hired by governmental agencies to write online product or hotel reviews.
While many would assume that the Internet and its new forms of communication enable people to lie more easily, it actually keeps people more honest, especially when it comes to close relationships with friends or family. The Internet certainly does make it easier for people to lie, but it also enables people to search and dig up old conversations through email or chat services. Hancock’s deception keynote pinpoints this accountability as a reason why the Internet actually promotes honesty.