Crazy, but perhaps a warning to us all.

Having made some money writing fake restaurant reviews for placement on TripAdvisor, Oobah Butler, a contributor to Vice News, said to himself that the only thing that can’t be faked on TripAdvisor is the actual restaurant. That got him thinking and he set out to create a fake restaurant, and furthermore to get it to the top rating among London’s restaurants. Thus was born The Shed at Dulwich. “If I can get my shitty and overpriced shed that I live in in Dulwich to the number-one-rated restaurant in London; anything’s possible” says Mr Butler. This video recounts the achievement, and proves that anything is indeed possible in a digital world dominated by trend-followers and FOMO victims. It’s equally hilarious and appalling.

If you don’t see a video here, please click on the title of this post in order to view it in your browser.

The Shed which did open for one night in 2017, still has a Facebook page which has 4,700 followers, and a Wikipedia entry.

Shelf Awareness reported yesterday, 15 May, that Mr Butler is at it again. “BS alert: booksellers around the country are reporting that Oobah Butler, a Vice News contributor and author of How to Bullsh*t Your Way to #1: An Unorthodox Guide to 21st Century Success (Where Publications), is apparently trying to bullsh*t his way onto bestseller lists by placing multiple fraudulent orders for the book. In many cases, the orders are being sent to non-existent addresses. It’s unclear whether Butler is doing this himself or enlisting fans to help or both.”

Emptor — caveat. While online reviews can be helpful, it’s impossible to distinguish sock puppetry from the genuine article. Remember that New Yorker cartoon: on the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog (which also has its own Wikipedia page)!