This paper focuses on the aspect of Munchausen by Internet in which individuals actively seek to disrupt groups for their own satisfaction, which has not yet been associated with the wider phenomena of Internet trolls (users who post with the intention of annoying someone or disrupting an online environment).
We also suggest directions for future research.doi:10.2196/jmir.2011Lying to receive medical attention is not a new concept.
Although it was not until the 1800s that factitious disorder was formally recognized, evidence of malingering dates back as far as Roman times.
Manu Feildel (born Emmanuel Feildel in 1974) is a chef born in Nantes, France, trained in England and now living in Australia, most widely known for his participation in Australia's cookery competition programs Ready Steady Cook, Master Chef Australia and My Kitchen Rules (MKR).
The Internet has revolutionized the health world, enabling self-diagnosis and online support to take place irrespective of time or location.
Alongside the positive aspects for an individual’s health from making use of the Internet, debate has intensified on how the increasing use of Web technology might have a negative impact on patients, caregivers, and practitioners.
One such negative health-related behavior is Munchausen by Internet.
Munchausen by Internet occurs when medically well individuals fake recognized illnesses in virtual environments, such as online support groups.
What is particularly worrying is the ease with which the deception can be carried out online, the difficulty in detection, and the damaging impact and potential danger to isolated victims.
We suggest ways to deal with Munchausen by Internet and provide advice for health group facilitators.
We also propose that Munchausen by Internet and Munchausen by Internet trolling should be formally acknowledged in a revised version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual DSM-5.
This will assist in effectively identifying and minimizing the growth of this behavior as more people seek reassurance and support about their health in the online environment.