Internet Detectives: Performativity and Policing Authenticity on the Internet

by Robin Stoate

It is possible to detect a certain crisis of subjective authenticity in the fictional/real writings of members of certain online communities, such as LiveJournal and Myspace. Some community users construct 'false' stories about their lives, deploying the unique forms possible online as a means of enriching the 'narrative'. However, these stories are often hunted down and 'uncovered' as 'false' by others looking to reinforce the strength of their own online presence. This article is a reading of the performative character of some examples of this 'policing' of authenticity online, in a mode inspired by both Jacques Derrida and Judith Butler.

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