Fake Chuck Westfall reveals identity and announces retirement
Chuck Westfall is the unassuming and authoritative head media liaison for Canon, USA. Fake Chuck Westfall however is an invented anti-hero and the surly voice behind the Fake Chuck Westfall blog, a site that variously pokes fun at Canon, Nikon and the photo industry in general.
The site came to be in 2008 after Canon started having problems with its EOS-1D Mark III, but failed to immediately resolve them to the satisfaction of customers. Since then the blog has been widely read and the real identity of the author has been a mystery.
The blog was so aggravating to Canon that the company's lawyers made the misstep of filing suit against the site in an attempt to reveal the author and shut it down. That action ended up making the satirical blog much more popular than it likely would have been on its own. So for the last six years the site has continued to operate and the author remained unknown.
That mystery was solved this weekend when Photo District News reported that Karel Donk, a resident of Suriname is the author of the site, and that Fake Chuck Westfall will end as Donk moves on to spend more time on other activities.
On his own site, Donk talks about the history of the persona and how it grew out of his frustration with a lack of reply from Canon about issues photographers were having - the same things that he was railing against on his own personal site, but to no avail. The background of the FCW persona on Donk’s blog is an interesting read, and it provides some insight on the various hurdles he faced as well as the admiration Canon fans have for the real Chuck Westfall.
Donk explains that he's moving on in part because he feels the big camera companies now know how to address issues and that there are fewer issues to address. In any case, the world of camera fanboys won’t be the same without Fake Chuck Westfall.