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Real Half of Manti Te’o Girlfriend Hoax Has a New Set of Social Media Rules

Today’s LA Times op ed by Diane O’Meara, the woman whose photo was used to prop up the sordid Manti T’eo social media hustle, will likely lead many readers to consider anew for whom among their Facebook friends the “R” might be silent.

The LA media consultant comes across as rather calm in the first few paragraphs of this piece, despite the clear violation of her image and personal rights. Then, as she has with AP and Anderson Cooper 360, O’Meara acknowledges the crucial extra mistake she made of sending the Te’o faker an additional non-Facebook picture (shown). She also outlines her social media recovery plan:

In the last week, I’ve shut down all my social media accounts. But I realize that’s not a long-term solution. I use social media to connect with a network of friends and family, and with business associates… Giving this up is unrealistic…

Eventually, I’ll go back to using social media. But I’ll take an even more cautious approach. I’ll have a new definition of who I agree to “friend,” and it will be much closer to the old definition of friendship. My friends will be those I actually know and trust. If someone sends me a “friend” request, I will be as discerning as I am in choosing who I include in my off-line life.

There are a couple of other options she might want to consider: using Facebook and Twitter for professional purposes only, or separating her personal and professional concerns into two wholly separate accounts on each platform. The irony for FishbowlLA is that if during the Manti Te’o business O’Meara had received one of those irritating and ubiquitous spam-DMs asking her if she had seen such-and-such a pic and the crazy things people are saying about her, it would have been one of the very few times that clutter aprroximated the truth.

Read the full LA Times op ed here.

[Photo of O'Meara via ESPN]

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