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Catfishing: A Look into Online Dating and Impersonation

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNISA,volume 12194)


This study investigates catfishing and online impersonation. Catfishing is a relatively new social phenomenon that happens online. The term, catfishing is still foreign to many online users. It is still unclear to many people what constitutes catfishing and how it is the same or different from online impersonation or phishing. In this paper, we discuss catfishing and how it relates to other online threats like online impersonation and phishing. To see how catfishing affects online users, we interviewed sixteen college students who use social media and online dating platforms at a Historically Black College and University. Among the sixteen participants, nine said they were catfish victims, and four said they were online impersonation victims. Three participants said they had catfished other people online. In this paper, we share the stories of catfish and catfish victims. Our findings show that catfishing has affected our participants’ social media use and prevented some of them from trying online dating services.


  • Catfishing
  • Online impersonation
  • Phishing
  • Online dating
  • Social media

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Correspondence to Joon Suk Lee .

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Simmons, M., Lee, J.S. (2020). Catfishing: A Look into Online Dating and Impersonation. In: Meiselwitz, G. (eds) Social Computing and Social Media. Design, Ethics, User Behavior, and Social Network Analysis. HCII 2020. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 12194. Springer, Cham.

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