Jocasta Station, Lagrange Orbital Colonial Authority -- 26 Mar. 2057: The well-known and well-liked social media personality Tainam Persimmonz, a fixture of social networks across the inner system, has been revealed by an independent labour watchdog to be a front persona for Social Eye, a LOCA-based company which spies on employees' and job applicants' private social network activity for corporate clients. Employee Ombudsman, an organization which advocates for labour rights and investigates potential abuses, revealed their findings in a press release early this day.
Social Eye, a well known player in the field of corporate intelligence gathering, has thus far avoided charges under the Labour Relations Act by advertising services limited to 'crawling and creeping information publicly available on social networks, search engines, advertising profiles and other information caches in the hyperlayer' to provide companies with reports on the behaviour, personalities and values of current and potential employees. It is not implausible that this would be an effective technique, as many are still lax about privacy controls and the release of personal information. However, according to Employee Ombudsman's communications director Selby Bellwether, there have been persistent rumours that Social Eye has been sidestepping prohibitions on bypassing privacy controls in order to provide employers with information their employees specifically don't want them to have. "We had received a number of reports on companies that use internal directives to try to control employees' personal time," said Ms. Bellwether in a text-chat interview, "from employees who were fired for reasons that were never adequately explained to them, but it happened after they broke corporate 'morality' policies, for instance against public sex or use of recreational alterants, and we found that in a lot of these cases the companies in question were customers of Social Eye. These were people that were very discrete, who took great care to keep their personal activities compartmentalized from their working lives. It got us interested, so we decided to investigate further."
According to the press release, a whistleblower within Social Eye supplied Employee Ombudsman with documents implicating the company in a massive 'false friend' scam, a gambit in which an organization creates fake social media personalities which befriend an espionage target and pump them for access to private information. Such a ruse is difficult to run effectively, as people are not quick to trust strangers with private profile keys and usually keep them in the outer circles of their share grids. Social Eye's solution was to create a personality that just about everyone wanted as their friend: Tainam Persimmonz, the darling of the glitterati, a bohemian trend-setter with a rapier wit who could still relate to many kinds of people on a personal level. According to this whistleblower, who has chosen to remain anonymous but is reportedly working with the Bureau of Labour Standards in an ongoing investigation, the persona of Tainam Persimmonz was the result of years' worth of dedicated social engineering and was in reality run by a team of over 100 dedicated social media consultants who kept up with Tainam's vast friends network and massive list of social groups and interest communities. The cadre of consultants crafted posts and messages according to a sophisticated personality model, rated just below the sapience threshold, while adding empathetic and personal touches, with the goal of gaining the trust of individuals and communities throughout the inner system -- particularly the glitzy, bohemian countercultures in which experimentation with and pushing of more conservative social boundaries is encouraged. Pictures and video of Tainam at various cultural events, staged to make the persona seem authentic, involved a stable of hand-picked models who were contracted to make themselves over into doppelgangers of a fictional person.
"Tainam Persimmonz began to filter into the social consciousness about 5 years ago," said trend analyst Lami Dellacourte of fashion blog Threadz, "and since then zie's been a fixture in the avante-garde countercultures. Zie shows up everywhere and is on everyone's friends list. Nobody even thought to question if zie's a real person. If this is true... I have no idea. I'm at a loss. I just don't understand how such a vibrant personality, such a sparkling wit and such genuine empathy, could be faked by some team of consultants. But I've been over the evidence and it looks really solid."
Tainam Persimmonz' social media profiles have all been set with an autoresponder stating that Mx. Persimmonz is distraught over the allegations and does not wish to be disturbed. Social Eye has not responded to requests for comment.