You could think of catfishing when someone tries to form a romantic bond with someone else by using fake information. This is hard to detect, but there are some signs that it might be happening.
Catfish often impersonate their prey on internet dating sites and are often strangers to the person they are imitating. Catfishing is rarer to occur between two people who know each other personally.
In the subreddit r/AITA, this brother talks about his sister, who is 17 years old. She’s not old enough to be on an app like Tinder, which requires all users to be at least 18.
Last week, I was using my sister Ashley’s phone because mine was dead and I needed to call a friend to confirm plans. Dialing my friend’s number, I saw a tinder notification of some dude messaging her. Immediately, I asked why she’s on tinder (she’s 17) and she grabbed her phone back and said “none of your business”
I decided that I wanted to have a little fun with this. I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt (maybe she’s just swiping for fun?) so I didn’t want to go straight to ratting her to our parents. To test if she was just using for fun, I decided I was going to make a tinder profile (of someone else) and message her and see if she responds. I asked a good friend from back in college (who happens to be a male model) Kevin if he’d mind if I used his pictures and explained the situation. He thought it would be hilarious and told me to go for it.
I created the account, set my age to 22, set my swipe radius to a mile, and quickly found my sister’s account. Her age was set to 19 (lie, she’s still in high school) so I was definitely more suspicious of her now. I superliked and less than an hour later, she matched AND messaged me.
I decided to set up a date to a fancy restaurant downtown for Sunday afternoon and told her we could “head to my place afterwards”. She was completely receptive and said she’d meet me there. She told our parents she was hanging out with one of her track friends and spending the night at her place.
After she left, I told our parents EVERYTHING and showed them all of the messages. They were pissed, and I suggested we all go to the restaurant. My dad and I just went instead and saw her sitting at a table alone all dolled up waiting for “Jim”. My dad went up to her and said “Jim’s not coming” and she screamed and asked what we were doing there. I told her that there was no Jim and that it was fucking stupid of her to be trying to meet grown men on tinder at her age. My dad harped on to that and lectured her on lying and meeting strange men on the Internet, and being so willing to go back to a stranger’s place. We were a bit loud so people were starting to look at us and my sister eventually bursted into tears and ran out.
I told my friends in a groupchat the situation and they all agreed it was hysterical, except 2 of my female friends who said I was a “fucking dick” and “cruel” to her. My other friends defended me and said she needed to be taught a lesson. Wondering who’s right and if I went too far?
It got a lot of mixed responses on Reddit, but most people were not a fan of what this brother was doing. You can read some of the best responses below:
Surelock01: ESH. The execution was a bit over the top, but the underlying lesson was an important one – she ignored the age requirement and was willing to go back to a stranger’s place.
But what stopped you guys from telling her to come home and then giving her a lecture?
connorcamacho: YTA big f***king time.
There is a difference between wanting to keep your sister safe and wanting to embarrass her. You could have had a conversation one-on-one to talk about why using tinder maybe isn’t the best thing at that time for her, both for her own safety and for the legal aged men who use it. You could have mentioned it to your parents, although that would be a shitty thing to do imo.
Instead, you trapped her, embarrassed her publicly, and also got her hopes up for a date with some male model. Think about the boundaries you crossed, man. She said shit to this “guy” that I’m sure was flirty. Think of how embarrassed you would feel if text messages you sent to SO’s of your past were actually forwarded to your parents. Imagine if the same shit happened to you.
So cool. You taught her a lesson. Even if she’s not an “adult”, she’s not a child either and she will remember this. You have probably irreversibly damaged or even ruined your relationship with your sister, and have likely done the same with the relationship between your sister and your parents. And for you to be her older bro, sounds like you are super fucking immature. Comes to show that being of legal age does not mean being a mature adult.
I’m actually pissed
soulswimming: YTA clearly. You don’t need to humilliate someone in order to let them know what they’re doing is wrong. You didn’t even try to talk to her about it, but decided instead to have fun at her expense. It seems like you were way more interested in ridiculing her and appearing in front of your parents like “the good kid” than actually caring for her safety.
FishNPaddle: YTA if this is true. How you thought this would be helpful for your sister in ANY way is beyond me. Also you weren’t doing this “to teach her a lesson,” you were doing this because you wanted to have fun at her expense.
queenofthera: YTA. Completely. If you were actually concerned about her, you would have taken the profile to your parents without catfishing her. You did this solely to embarrass and shame her (as evidenced by the fact your friends ‘agreed it was hysterical’).
You need to look at yourself and your motivations here. You were cruel and spiteful.
This post has over 5300 comments at the time of writing this article, you can read them all on Reddit here.