Jobfished – welcome to the #metafake

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

The Tinder Swindler, a Netflix documentary about a douchbag who cheats young girls out of money (after they have been primed with glamorous dates, including private jets and succulent sushi buffets) kicked off a new genre of digital Scamdocs that reveal the joys of 21st digital social interaction. It was fairly riveting.

Similarly a BBC Three documentary, Jobfished frames itself as a serious piece of ‘investigative journalism’ as it follows an equally glamorous brand communications company called Madbird, that has recruited a team of new employees under false pretences – think Fyre Fraud but with nauseating thought leaders. Even though the company’s website is replete with a prestigious client list and profiles of its experienced ‘leadership team’, the company turns out to be, wait for it…NOT REAL!!!!! WOW!!! Amazing!!!! Hashtag, digital ejaculation!!! OMG!!!

The documentary then proceeds to ‘uncover’ the fact that it was in fact the work of ONE PERSON. Holy fuck balls. Noooo waaaay! What? One person can build a website that has lies on it? Now, my tone of voice may seem a little sarcastic at this point, and this isn’t because I am being critical of the film maker’s motivations. Online scams should be brought to our attention and entertaining viewing they certainly make. However, this documentary itself is so fake it has become a sort of metafake and the bottom of the biscuit barrel has been scraped so much, it has reached Australia.

From the narcissistic presenter mugging as she adjusts her Go Pro to ‘apprehend’ the main protagonist, to the fake applicants talking about their interviews, the whole thing appears as a sort of piss take of itself. Which is fine. If that’s what it’s supposed to be. But the problem is, it isn’t. The film is actually quite convincing up until the point the main ringleader is cornered in a ‘sting operation’ as he is apprehended outside his suburban house with such cod #metafake that this viewer had to stop watching and was then compelled to write this article.

The whole cesspit that is social media and everything that gets dragged down with it – fake job interviews, fake dates, fake job profiles, fake influencers – really doesn’t need more excreta poured on top of its already stinking carcass. Simply put, this is a good example of lazy journalism masquerading as ‘new’ documentary film making. Here’s an idea. Why not have the balls to investigate a real company that scams real employees. But I suppose that wouldn’t be #metafakedoc enough.

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