Monday, December 24, 2012

New York Post punk'd by fake Ryan Lanza Facebook chat

Merry Christmas and welcome to the world of Internet impersonation. It's obvious that anyone can pose as anyone on the Internet (which is why we love Twitter verified celebrity accounts), and the New York Post was punk'd by someone pretending to be Ryan Lanza, the brother of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter Adam Lanza.

The Lanza family denied any connection to the Facebook chat between the fake Ryan Lanza and a New York Post reporter. In a statement issued through spokesman Errol Cockfield of the public relations firm Edelman, the family said simply, "This is a complete hoax.”

Cockfield added that Lanza, 24, shut his Facebook account shortly after the shooting and it has not been reactivated. The fake one, therefore, is this one, at It does, however, have valid pictures of Ryan Lanza.

The New York Post found itself fooled on Sunday, when it posted an "exclusive interview" with the fake Ryan Lanza. The paper said that Lanza, in a Facebook chat, said, “I am a victim. I loss [sic] my mom and brother.”

The Post also said that (the fake) Ryan Lanza wrote the following message to his brother, Adam, the 20-year-old Newtown, Conn. shooter, on his Facebook page:
R.I.P. I will miss you bro. I will always love you as long as I live.
The faux Lanza also posted a picture of Ryan and Adam's late mother, Nancy, 52. The image is also apparently valid. He wrote:
I miss you mom. I love you so much. You will be always in my heart.
The fake Ryan Lanza also grieved on Facebook for the 20 children that his brother killed on Friday, Dec. 14, along with his mother and six adults at the school. He wrote:
You all will be truly be missed. God Bless.
In addition, the faux Lanza has joined Facebook victim groups as well as groups that support him called “Support Ryan Lanza” and “Clear Ryan Lanza’s Name.”

It is unclear who is going through these machinations and why.

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