Yesterday, the Telegraph reported about a woman who had her identity stolen on Facebook. The strategy is simply: create another profile of a person but have inaccurate data about them in their profile. When people search for the user they end up finding a false version of their profile which can have horribly inaccurate details about them. The result was that Kerry Harvey was branded as a prostitute on a fake profile.
Then today Ryan Kissiellondon reported about a man who had a fake profile created about him on Facebook as well. The profile had his name and birth date accurate but it also had him registered to a number of gay groups. Mathew Firsht is now “suing old schoolfriend Grant Rapheal for libel and misuse of private information in what is believed to be the first defamation case involving Facebook in the UK.”
These are not the first cases of users having false duplicates of their profile created. In a video posted on College Humor. back in March, this trick was the brunt of a joke movie trailer. This leads to the question of whether or not Facebook should be verifying user profiles when a user registers. As of now there isn’t much of a verification process but perhaps we will start seeing new processes implemented in the future.