Back in April 2018, a post titled “Sorry Not Sorry, My Parents Paid For My Coachella Trip” written by someone named Kaycie Allen was posted on the website Odyssey. The site describes itself as a platform specifically for college students to post their own content through their own respective college’s Odyssey page. A brief read of the article conveys its high privileged nature.
After its posting, it received backlash on Twitter from celebrities such as Chrissy Teigen.
The post has been removed from the site for violating “Odyssey’s” terms of service. A link to the post no longer contains the article itself, but only a message indicating the violation.
Kaycie Allen is actually a 28-year-old man named Chris Spies. He joined the website using false information about himself posing as “Kaycie Allen,” and he posted through Syracuse University’s Odyssey channel.
After the initial backlash of the article, a note was added that the post was satire. But a few days later, the post was removed and the note that is now with the article.
Buzzfeed has learned that Kaycie Allen is actually a man named Chris Spies. Buzzfeed posted more info on Spies here. He became intrigued with the site after reading a post titled “You May Have Worn The Prom Dress With Him, But I Get To Wear The Wedding Dress” which went viral. He likes to write from the perspective of made up characters and he thought that Odyssey would be an excellent way to express that passion.
Spies asked to join the Syracuse community because he previously went to school there and he did with a fake Gmail account, saying that they didn’t even ask for writing samples or proof of identification.
So, “she” went on with the article idea, messaging the community’s GroupMe and the article got approved by the editors. He purposely wrote the article poorly, and it still got published. This being “her” first article on Odyssey, it gained so much traffic that the publishers’ became suspicious. Odyssey writers are required to share their content through their social media platforms, and “Kaycie” did not seem to have a fake social media following, so no suspicions of “Kaycie’s” identity were raised.
So Syracuse University community members confronted him in their GroupMe. The editor asked him for his Syracuse University email to prove his identity, and he wasn’t able to provide one that worked. Then a professional staffer asked him to video chat–and he declined, saying that he was “embarrassed of his face.”
Then he got an email from Odyssey Staff asking him to participate in a video call with an Odyssey Staff member by 5 P.M. the same day, and he did not, so the removed the post.
Spies could not believe that people believed that the article is real says, “a lot of people believed it because I think they just wanted to believe it, they really needed to be outraged at this thing.”
It is definitely wrong to catfish your way onto a publishing site, or any site for that matter, Spies has an interesting tap into the privileged college student’s mind. You can read the original article reposted on his website, here.