Why has Thierry Mairot gotten so much attention

In the  many years that I’ve worked in IT security, I can’t recall a hoax that has gotten as much attention as the Thierry Mairot scandal. See the post below if you somehow don’t know about this yet.

Why has the Mairot Facebook posting created so much controversy. I think that there are a few key factors that encourage individuals to talk about this case and share it with their friends.

1. Demonizing strangers is fun!

A lot of people live in this fantasy world of fear. If something exists in the world, then it’s just a matter of time before it gets them or, even worse, their children. The notion that a pedophile has been contacting children on Facebook works these people up into a tizzy because they think it’s going to happen to them. Plus, it’s really easy to demonize someone you don’t have personal contact with. Hell, it’s even fun for some people.

2. They don’t get it.

A lot of people just don’t get it. They see a bogus posting about some French pedophile and they want everyone to know about it. It doesn’t matter that the message has been posted millions of times already. Nor does it matter whether the post is true.

3. They get it, and they want to tell you that you don’t get it

Another reason that this hoax has gained so much popularity is because of people like me. The whole thing is ludicrous and unjust, so bloggers are going to create articles like this one telling everyone else that they’re crazy for believing a bunch of crap, taking it way too far, and demonizing a probably-innocent person.

Unfortunately, that means adding to the plethora of postings about Thierry Mairot. I think that the contribution, however, is important even if it does blow the situation out of proportion. Why? Because a lot of people love demonizing people without proof and the just don’t get why that’s wrong.

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~ by facebookhoaxes on September 29, 2010.

9 Responses to “Why has Thierry Mairot gotten so much attention”

  1. So, do you know this”Thierry Mairot”? Have you researched this person? Do you know that this is a hoax, or are you simply blathering on? You state no facts or findings. I find your article to be uninformed, opinionated dribble, and a complete waste of time.

    • I appreciate I come late to this, but just in case Bert Wood checks here again, I’d like to point out that his criticism here, and the ‘logical’ position I assume he bases it on, is *utterly ridiculous*.

      Bert, you missed the point completely. You don’t need to *know* a person to assume that they’re *not* guilty. You need to be able to prove that they’re guilty in order to justify claiming that they are. If you can’t prove it – yourself, personally – then don’t say it. If you say it, then by rights you should be saying it in court, or be willing to be dragged into court to justify it. (The problem with the Internet, and social networking sites in particular, is that they make it so easy to promulgate hoaxes like this that there’s little or no chance of finding the person who started them and getting them into a courtroom.)

      This, Bert, is the basis of every legal system in the free world: innocent until proven guilty. Facebook is not – and must not be allowed to become – a substitute for due process of law.

  2. Who would even have a name like that anyway. If you do a search on that name, it all comes back as a hoax on Twitter and Facebook.
    There are real perverts that prey on children on the internet though. Dateline catches them all the time.

    • The name is French, so I guess a Frenchman would have a name like that.
      I’d hate to think that we’re relying on Dateline to dole out justice. We have a court system for these matters. In my opinion, that’s where all of this belongs. Not on TV, Facebook, or any other medium where laymen get to bandy about rumors instead of facts. Yeah, the justice system has its problems, but it’s an improvement over street justice.

  3. dateline catches them all the time, but they can never catch them all.

  4. Just taking up space on FB, Twitter etc.! If he’s a REAL preditor..he’ll get his!

  5. Bert Wood.
    You’re a fucking moron.

  6. I just went through this myself and had my name attached to this mans on a facebook because I asked if there was proof. I found no proof what-so-ever of him doing anything. I did find that a one Thierry Mairot lost his job because of problems arising from a page on Facebook. The two pages I found about this man have been deleted along with the one with my name attached to it.
    Also note if your on Facebook, watch to see if there are any Admins for that page as that is a tell tail sign that these people don’t want others to know what they did.

  7. Ya well i think its smart 2 b paying attintion 2 stuff like that. bt that doisint mean freaking out over something that may nt even b true. pluse if u have a kid that has facebook thay should b old enough that thay can tell things like that. if thay cnt thay shouldint b on the internet.

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