Have you noticed the same annoyingly familiar face popping up in your Facebook friend requests lately? A guy with the first name Fox, and a different last name each time that’s often a city — like Sanger or Selma? Sound familiar?
For the past few months, he has been friend requesting me like crazy. I’ve seen other people in town complaining about him too.
In real life, he’s Fox Elipsus, a musician from England. And though, he lists his “current city” as Fresno on many Facebook profiles, he’s actually just some guy trying to build fan bases in different cities. As the mutual friend counter has shown me, he’s duped many local folks.
Once I figured out what he was trying to do, I collected his various friend requests for two weeks. I currently have nine variations of this Fox guy requesting to be my friend. That’s in addition to another 10 or so I’d previously ignored. Sorry, Fox Firebaugh and Fox Roeding. Denied!
I was curious whether he was actually fixated on the Fresno area. Were we the key to his plan for music biz domination? Or was he doing this sort of thing all over the state? The country? The world?
So I sent him an e-mail:
Subject: Dear Fox person
Good morning. I, like many others in the Fresno area, have noticed you’re trying to become our friends under various different Facebook accounts, each with a different last name.
While I ignore them, I think it’s at least worth a blog post, because you’ve got people in Fresno talking about you. To be fair, I’ll warn you that this blog post might mock you and your social media strategy.
However, I’d at least like to ask you some questions about why you’re so incessant about becoming friends with all these different people in Fresno.
He responded quite quickly. I guess that’s not surprising, since a guy with that many Facebook accounts has stay close to the Internet.
Even though some people don’t like the marketing techniques, what I’m doing (the messages, and sleeping in the car and playing for free and such), is a very positive thing, so I don’t think it makes sense to contribute to an article that is going to be negative about me. You can write whatever you want, it’s a free country. I prefer to spend my time building things rather than tearing them down.
Fresno has been so negative in its reaction that I’m actually not coming to town in December after all, but I might try again in January or February. Most states, particularly in the Midwest, the Mountains, and the South, are amazingly positive, supportive, and overwhelmingly welcoming to me and what I do, but the coasts are always rough and I accept the bad with the good.
So I responded:
I don’t think anybody has anything against what you’re doing musically, or your touring technique. I think most people — such as myself — feel it’s pretty spammy to get friend requests from you under a dozen different names. If it was one, OK, maybe.
I wish you luck, but the marketing technique makes it seem super insincere. If you’re doing this all around the country, you must have — what — hundreds, maybe thousands, of Facebook accounts? How do you keep up with that? Or do you even try? I think a lot of people would feel duped if they knew what you were actually doing.
Again, best of luck. But you’ll understand why I ignore them all. If you do come perform in Fresno, let me know, Preferably not though Facebook.
And I have not heard back from him since. I will, however, keep you posted should he decide to come perform for his hundreds of confirm-button-happy fans in Fresno.