On forums like r/MomForAMinute, people pretend to be the family members who may be missing from others’ lives

Growing up, Laura had a tumultuous relationship with her parents, in particular her mother, who was emotionally abusive. As an adult, she would weep after every one of her mom’s visits, and in January, she began distancing herself, seeking advice through Reddit support groups for people in similar situations.

Laura…


“I’m supposedly faking every single aspect of my identity for some Instagram followers,” one target says.

At the height of summer last year, Sophie received an Instagram DM on her phone from an account she didn’t follow. “I’m going to make you disabled,” it read. With it came a photograph, one of her and her friends crossing the street. The photo suggested to Sophie — a…


Influencers have shot to fame by sharing experiences with addiction, but their success is fraught

Throughout most of his twenties, Jason Ortega only once used drugs — a “minor mushroom trip,” he says. But after his first edible, he was hooked. Soon, he was using work credit cards to buy supplies from his local dispensary in Colorado. …


There’s big business in crudely re-recorded karaoke versions of pop songs

As a teenager, Nya Crea would rush home from school and rehearse karaoke tracks every night. She found endless inspiration in Christina Aguilera, Aretha Franklin, Pink and “diva singers with powerful voices and charismatic personalities,” she says from her London home. …

Jack Needham

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