Mark Bell: Authority on Online Deception

by Ken Rosenberg

Mark Bell, an esteemed member of our cohort, was recently quoted as an authority on online deception. The piece, which ran in the Fashion & Style section of The New York Times, is about the recent spat of falsely-reported celebrity deaths. As Mark pointed out, online deception is an extremely low-cost endeavor, in all respects: financially, morally, and legally. Spreading death-related rumors through media is not a new occurrence (see Mark Twain), but the Internet makes it easier for anyone to spread falsehoods.

Mark’s wife, Sarah Smith-Robbins, works for the Kelley School and has been interviewed by the The New York Times on a few occasions. This time she recommended her husband as the appropriate expert. “It just came through connections,” Mark said. “I was lucky, it was a fun opportunity and I’m humbled by it.” His advice for those of us who have yet to be interviewed for The New York Times? “First, do good work. Second, don’t be afraid to tell people about the work you’ve been doing … it always starts with good work, though.” Mark credits his dissertation work for enabling him to answer questions as an expert.

The article, “One Comeback They Could Skip,” can be found online.

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