Tom MacMaster, 40, who is studying at Edinburgh University, is now under investigation by the institution.
He said last night: “I feel like I am in some ways the worst person in the world. I am sorry.”
Since February, A Gay Girl in Damascus has claimed to have documented the life of activist Amina Abdallah Arraf al-Omari, 25, in the Syrian capital during the civil unrest and quickly gained a worldwide readership.
Gay and political activists reacted angrily after Mr MacMaster was unmasked as the hoaxer. He insisted he had not intended to “dupe the world”.
The blog was closely followed by campaigners and gay activists in Syria and the Middle East, who even launched an online campaign to secure her release after one blog entry spoke of her arrest by armed men believed to have been linked to President Bashar al-Assad’s Baath party.
The hoax only came to light after a woman recognised her pictures had been used without permission online in relation to the campaign.
A Scottish media expert told The Herald he feared the blog could have sparked extra security activity in the country.
Dr Eamonn O’Neill, director of investigative journalism at Strathclyde University, said: “If somebody puts out a blog like this claiming to be from the bowels of Damascus then the people who monitor these blogs will have been out on the street looking for them and knocking on doors.
“This could have real implications on the ground out there for people who are struggling with the issue. There will be members of the security services in these insecure countries who will be checking out other blogs like that with a fine-toothed comb.”
He said social media can be important “early warning” systems but that there is still a need for professional verification of such information.
Mr MacMaster wrote on his blog last night: “I want to apologise to anyone I may have hurt or harmed in any way. I never meant to hurt anyone.
“Words alone do not suffice to express how badly I feel about all this. I betrayed the trust of a great many people, the friendship that was honestly and openly offered to me, and played with the emotions of others unfairly.
“I have distracted the world’s attention from important issues of real people in real places. I have potentially compromised the safety of real people. I have helped lend credence to the lies of the regimes. I am sorry.”
He admitted: “I invented her. I enjoyed ‘puppeting’ this woman who never was. I knew what she looked like in my head and I grabbed photos of a woman whom I have never met who looked exactly like what Amina should look like. That was stupid and possibly evil of me and I’m really, really sorry about that.
“It just kept on growing.”
An Edinburgh University spokesman said: “The university will investigate whether the student has breached university computing regulations.”
He said the principal had directed that the student’s computing privileges be suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.
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