Just because someone says something about themselves and get it published doesn’t mean that it’s true. It’s easy to hear that there are people online who aren’t who they say they are. Here’s on story of man who has made a fortune, partly by pretending to be younger than he is and part of a generation who could easily be his children. Then he hops into articles by willing to be a secondary source on any idea a journalist wants to promote, just so they promote him, too!
An Online Fake
“Millennial Dan Nainan Left Intel To Make His Millions Entertaining Others With Comedy” ran the article in Forbes in 2017. In this profile and several others he claims to be 35. Ben Collins, a Daily Beast reporter, tracked down the details of his life. Combining official records with his given timeline makes his story of his life makes no sense. A record of speeding ticket he got in 1987 would have been when he was 6 years old. He would have been a senior engineer at Intel as a 17 year old in 1998. He seems to be trying to be 35 longer than Jack Benny was 39.
Double Check Your Facts
As Collins points out in his article (linked above), Nainan has been referenced as being 35 and a part of the Millennial generation over and over in mainstream publications. He’s been listed as 31 and 35 in the same year. He’s been listed as 35 in different years. Public records including his birth record and an old traffic ticket show he is isn’t. Publications, readily available on the web, have done stories before this. He is 57.
So when you are working on a paper, don’t necessarily trust the first source you come to. Don’t trust a source that makes it too easy to “prove” what you want. Double check you can find more than one source that says the same thing. It really doesn’t matter much what age Nainan is. However, there are lot of things in both academia (what really caused the Civil War) and real life (is that really the best deal on a refrigerator) that you will find people trying to deceive you about. Double check before you put something out there.