To hear Manti Te'o tell it, he's a victim of one of the greatest web hoaxes in the internet's relatively short lifespan. Te'o, the Notre Dame football star presently embroiled in a fake-dead-girlfriend scandal thanks to Deadspin, says that he was deceived for years by internet pranksters who led him to believe he was dating a woman named Lennay Kekua—a woman who, it turns out, never even existed. Te'o says those same pranksters eventually convinced him Kekua was in a serious car accident and then stricken with leukemia, only to die from leukemia in September of last year on the same day his grandmother died. In a word, it's fantastical. So fantastical, in fact, that a lot of people are having a hard time believing Te'o himself wasn't in on the scam at least partially. Though a lot of questions remain, one thing that's certain is that if Te'o is lying, he will have violated at least some of the regulations in Notre Dame's famously sacrosanct "du Lac" student code of conduct, which is when things get even more complicated.
This has been a fantastic week for media outrage, especially on Twitter. On Monday, a pro-Scientology ad in the Atlantic that was mocked up to faintly resemble an article generated hours of castigating tweets and countless op-eds. Then, last night, Deadspin broke the story of Notre Dame star linebacker Manti Te'o and the girlfriend who doesn't exist.